Corporate Wellness Programs are proven to increase productivity, according to a study.
The increase in wellness programs in Australia has grown over the last decade and the trend is set to continue, according to IBISWorld. Corporate wellness initiatives are being promoted to attract and retain today’s more health-conscious professionals.
Long-Term Benefits of Wellness Programs
When employees in Australia are engaged in a workplace wellness program every week on an ongoing basis, they are likely to see health benefits.
Go365®, a personalised wellness and rewards program, released a five-year study revealing that the program showed bottom line benefits to an organisation. Go365’s study found highly-engaged members in the wellness program:
- Compared with low-engaged members, reported 55 percent fewer Unhealthy Days, which can reflect productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism (when employees are physically present at work but not working at full performance).
Wellness Programs & Employee Productivity
According to the Go365 Five-Year Study, employees who are highly engaged in the wellness and rewards program over several years are more productive, with fewer Unhealthy Days .
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a study, Improving Employee Productivity Through Improved Health, which employees participating in wellness programs saved their companies $353 in recouped productivity per person annually. The study found employees who successfully improved their lifestyle and focused on healthcare, gained 10.3 hours in additional productive time annually, compared with non-participating employees.
Another study from the University of California Riverside, Doing Well by Making Well: The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity, found that all employees who participated in a wellness program improved productivity an average of one full work day a month.
The study's author Timothy Gubler, an assistant professor of management in the School of Business at UC Riverside, said, "When workers discover unknown health problems through the program they feel increased gratitude toward their employer and increase their efforts. Additionally, when programs help employees make healthy choices this can positively impact their wellness, mood, energy, and ultimately increase their productivity.”
Reducing sick days isn’t the only factor impacted by corporate wellness programs. Corporate wellness programs support employees’ physical, mental, emotional and financial health. In addition to reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, employee turnover is minimized. Decreasing workplace disruption results in lower stress levels, increased employee engagement and team members who are more focused on their tasks, roles and responsibilities.
Gubler continued, "Our research suggests that corporate wellness plans can boost employee satisfaction by offering a tangible benefit that empowers them to take care of their health in a way that's integrated into their busy lives. The result is healthier and happier employees who are not only less expensive and less absent, but also more productive.”
Choosing an Employee Wellness Program that Boosts Productivity
Go365’s Five Year Study demonstrates that employees’ active engagement in corporate wellness programs over several years positively impacts employee health and productivity.
Here’s a checklist to boost employee productivity:
- Elevate Your Workplace’s Culture
Focus on a culture of team collaboration, continuous improvement and a winning attitude. A focus on high performance can be encouraged in your corporate wellness programs by including gamification and friendly competition among employees during events and fitness challenges.
- Develop a corporate wellness program that can be adapted to your organisation’s own culture.
You may have heard about the importance of personalisation for the individual, and the same is true for organisations. One week you could offer a Yoga class, the following a Meditation, Pilates or Tai Chi class.
- Leverage Tools and Technology
Communications platforms, such as instant messaging apps, are now available that also offer file sharing and access to streamline your teams’ workflow. Provide options for fitness trackers to encourage regular exercise, participation in fitness challenges and reinforce healthy choices.
- Enhance Team Building and Camaraderie
Corporate wellness programs depend on participation by multiple employees, shared goals, group meetings, support groups and fitness activities. Team building, bonding and camaraderie will naturally occur. A successful strategy is to recruit and train wellness champions who serve as advocates for wellness initiatives.
- Recognise and Incentivise
Recognising the quality of your teams’ work will encourage greater efficiencies and increased productivity. Ideas to incentivise productivity include handwritten thank you notes, offering PTO (paid time off), team happy hours or dinners, pot luck lunches, volunteering as a team, casual Fridays, or a “lazy Monday” coupon allowing employees to arrive late on a Monday morning.
Investing in a corporate wellness program will support your business goals. New studies show the long-term benefits of workplace wellness efforts. In addition, your wellness initiatives can enhance employee engagement, retention and ability to attract top talent. Your corporate wellness program can be your competitive advantage.
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