When companies think about investing in their employees, they tend to focus on areas directly related to their work or industry, such as sending employees to conferences or sponsoring extra training. Professional development is seen as having the most clear-cut return on investment – you pay for an employee to receive more training or be exposed to industry experts, and they will bring that new knowledge back to their work. True! But that mindset overlooks another important area of employee development: wellness.
On the surface, employee wellness may not appear to be related to ROI or the bottom line, but an employee’s well-being has a significant impact on the quality and quantity of work they’re able to do. That means investing in employee wellness (by sponsoring employee fitness programs, providing access to an onsite gym, catering healthy lunches once a week, or furnishing the office with ergonomic furniture like height-adjustable sit-stand desks) is just as effective as investing in professional development. When you invest in employee well-being, you benefit both your employees and your company.
Here are 5 reasons that employee wellness is a profitable investment:
- Increased Productivity
Employees who participate in wellness programs are more productive than those who don’t. One study found that employees who participated in health and wellness programs gained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually, saving approximately $353 per person in lost productivity costs, compared to counterparts who did not participate.
- Decreased Absenteeism
Unhealthy employees are more likely to miss work, The CDC reports that productivity losses caused by health problems and absenteeism cost U.S. employers almost $1,700 per employee every year, or $225.8 billion annually.
- Lower Healthcare Costs
When the company holds some of the burden of employee healthcare costs, it’s in the company’s best interest to promote employee well-being. Less healthy employees require more healthcare services throughout the year, which increases the bill for the employer. A case study from 2009 found that an employer saved an average $565 per employee by investing in wellness programs.
- Improved Recruitment & Retention
As the health and wellness movement grows, more employees than ever are seeking wellness benefits from potential employers. Offering a robust health and wellness package will help you attract and retain top talent – while failing to offer good services may cause employees to leave your company and seek better benefits elsewhere.
- Boosted Morale
When an employee feels like their employee cares about their well-being, they begin to care more about the company’s well-being in turn. Their commitment to the company grows, along with their morale. When you consider that how a person feels about their job is directly linked to how they perform on the job, it’s no surprise that increased morale due to wellness programs translates into more engaged, higher performing employees.
When you add all the benefits of investing in employee wellness together, it amounts to an average of $6 return on investment for every $1 invested by your company in health and wellness programs. You can increase the savings even more when you take advantage of bulk discounts on items such as standing desks for your employees.