Employee Benefits | By Scott Schulte,

Employee Wellbeing: It Matters More Than You Think

Health and overall wellbeing impacts your employees in many ways. And because it affects your employees, it also impacts your business.

When staff members are physically, mentally, or financially unstable, they can’t live up to their full potential, both personally and at work. And while you may not notice any immediate changes, over time this will be reflected in your bottom line.

Wellness shmellness

Wellbeing efforts in the workplace seem to bring out extreme opinions. There are those who believe wholeheartedly in wellness initiatives and those who feel these programs don’t do anything but cost money and annoy people.

And while the calculable ROI for employee wellness efforts may be up for debate, the fact that unwell employees cost companies money isn’t.

An unhealthy work environment or team can have deep impacts on many levels of your business. Some of these effects are tangible and measurable, and some are merely observed and felt. Either way, the damage is real:

  • Low staff morale
  • Elevated stress levels
  • Frequent absenteeism
  • Decreased productivity
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Increased accidents and injuries
  • Difficulty recruiting and retaining talent

Still not convinced?

Take a look at some of the numbers:

  • Research from ComPsych found that nearly half of workers surveyed are suffering from moderate to severe stress:
    • 66% report having difficulty focusing on tasks
    • 21% report errors and/or missed deadlines
    • 15% report trouble getting along with co-workers/superiors
    • 14% explain missed days and lateness as being stress-related
  • According to Gallup studies, healthy workers miss an average of four days per year, while unhealthy workers can be missing from 14 to 42 days per year.

Wellbeing continues to be of interest employers, and rightly so. The case for healthier and less stressed employees is strong.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to come up with effective strategies for improvement. But while finding the right mix of efforts can be challenging, waiting until you have the “perfect” solution to address the issue isn’t a good option.

Moving toward wellbeing

You can take the mystery out of what wellbeing might look like for your employees with one simple idea: Just ask them.

Rather than making assumptions about what your employees need, hold small group discussions to gather information about what your team sees as key to their overall wellbeing. You may find they are concerned about health-related issues, financial issues, or simply struggling with increasing workloads.

Once you have a better understanding of where people would like and accept help, then you can implement solutions with a high likelihood of participation, appreciation, and success.

It might be easier than you think

After doing the research, you may find it isn’t necessary to create a comprehensive or complicated program to increase staff wellbeing, productivity, and morale. Things like offering more flexible work schedules, relaxing your dress code, or rethinking current workflow processes could go a long way toward helping reduce employee stress, a key ingredient to many of life’s ailments.

Focusing on wellbeing can help your employees become physically, mentally, and financially healthy. In other words, exactly the kind of people you want on your team.

At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Located in Kirkwood, MO, we help clients throughout the greater St. Louis area identify and manage complex employee benefits challenges. If you would like help managing your employee programs, we may be the insurance consultant and business partner you need.

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