As a leader in your organization, how do you make it clear to your staff that their personal wellness is a priority for you? If you don’t have the answer, 2019 is the year to change that! As an increasing number of professionals begin to place more value on their overall health, employers are realizing that they need to help them in this cause by providing more employee wellness initiatives. If they don’t, they run the risk of losing top talent to competitors with better programs already in place.
It can be difficult to see the benefits of these wellness programs at first, but investing in the holistic health of your employees can make a big difference in the long run. Why? Wellness and employee engagement go hand-in-hand. Employers who care about and support wellness programs set people up to be great at their jobs—leading to increased productivity, happier employees, and lower turnover.
Wellness has also become more mainstream and accessible than it was a few short years ago, and as a result, these programs are increasingly being sought out by working professionals. With the upper hand in today’s job market, employees are much more willing to look for new opportunities if they feel their job has compromised their physical and/or mental health.
Despite this trend, wellness is something many employers have struggled to figure out. For example, only 20% of the working professionals we surveyed for our 2019 Hiring Outlook felt that their company excelled at providing wellness programs.
Employers have traditionally focused on the cost-saving benefits of wellness programs, but this is not what matters most. Wellness programs should take a holistic approach and be geared toward improving your employees’ physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.
As a result, a renewed focus on these elements will become even more critical to your ability to retain employees:
With so much time spent at the office, many employees put their work over their physical health. They may not make the time to exercise or may stay up late to catch up on emails. This is bound to lead to high levels of employee burnout. Employers can help encourage physical wellness through gym reimbursements, opportunities to get active during the workday, and education about preventative health.
As the subject becomes less taboo, employers can’t shy away from addressing mental health in the workplace. To show employees that their mental well-being comes first, you can offer mental health days, create stress management programs, and make staff aware of external resources.
It can be easy for your employees to get caught up in their work without much personal interaction with their peers. To create a supportive company culture, give your employees opportunities to build relationships outside of work activities through social get-togethers and team building events.
Nearly half of working Americans are stressed about their finances, according to PWC. A quarter of these employees report that their personal finance issues have been a major distraction at work. As a result, financial wellness is a critical—yet often overlooked—element of employee wellness. Employers can help reduce some of this stress by connecting employees with financial planning resources, 401(k) education, and holding regular webinars or info sessions with subject-matter experts.
About the Author:
Edward Fleischman is the CEO of The Execu|Search Group, a leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firm headquartered in New York City with additional offices throughout the U.S. With over three decades of experience, Edward regularly advises employers on strategic senior-level hiring, structuring of compensation packages, and human resources issues.
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