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The benefits of workplace wellness programmes

Did you know that sometimes it can be better to stay in your current role, rather than quitting to look for a new job? Research suggests that the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to find a new role. With that being said, a new trend is on the rise, called “wellness programmes,” which is aiming to prevent employees from leaving and retain talent for longer periods of time.

When carried out effectively, workplace wellness programmes can provide employees with the tools, support, coping habits and incentives to adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. 

From nap rooms to cooking classes and onsite healthcare services, it has been proven that wellness programmes in the workplace can promote health, happiness, and productivity. It’s for this reason that companies like Google offer an all-encompassing wellness programme where employees get paid to relax and recharge. View this post

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4 major benefits of workplace wellness programmes

While workplace wellness programmes are a relatively new workplace trend, they’re gaining in popularity for good reason. In the UK, nearly half of businesses offer tools designed to promote employee wellbeing in the workplace. Research on employee wellbeing reveals that overall, 17% of businesses have introduced counselling, while a further 17% have started to allow employees to leave work early on a Friday and 11% are limiting the amount of overtime that employees can do.

Clearly wellness programmes aren’t restricted to just the big-name companies, and small to medium businesses can harness the same benefits too.

1. Improved employee health behaviours

Wellness programmes are excellent for helping people adopt healthy behaviors or to simply be more mindful of their health. The standard 9-5 workday can be draining for most, with many workers sitting at a desk and remaining sedentary most of the working day. The introduction of a wellness programme where workers can participate in fitness classes or morning yoga before clocking-in has positive effects on their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Companies like Microsoft provide employees with free health screening and on-site health care services. They also provide healthy dining options, labelling cafeteria foods to help employees easily identify healthy food options. Such measures help workers to adopt healthier habits and make healthier conscious decisions when it comes to their nutrition. 

2. Improved productivity

Workplace wellness programmes lead to higher employee productivity – and its not just in the UK. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, productivity losses related to personal and family health issues costs U.S. employers $225.8 billion annually. Low productivity can be linked to depression, anxiety, fatigue, distractions and more. It’s thought that by providing workers with a wellness programme, they will have more incentive to go to work and become more happily engaged. This is especially true if the wellness programme helps aid their mental or physical health issues that may be affecting their focus at work. 

An interesting way the company SAS is approaching absenteeism is by providing employees with educational programmes to keep employees’ goals on track. Innovative companies like Facebook and Asana help to boost their employee productivity by providing nap rooms! Workers can catch a quick nap before returning to their work with renewed energy. Offering employees extra time to go for walks or providing a quiet space to read can also have similar results on employee productivity. 

3. Workplace loyalty

Workplace wellness programmes lead to improved employee retention. This is because a wellness programme engages and benefits employees outside of the office, so they’re more likely to feel that their job has a positive impact on their lives. This makes employees more likely to want to stay with a company long-term, which benefits the company since it reduced recruiting, hiring and training costs.

Some companies like Accenture offer employee assistance programmes, providing confidential support for issues like stress, depression, substance abuse, and anxiety. These types of programmes make it easier for employees to seek help for their mental health, giving them a familiar environment where they can feel more comfortable and more likely to remain at their workplace. 

4. Stress reduction

A workplace wellness programme aimed at reducing stress can have positive effects on employee wellbeing. Many workers experience stress at work and outside of work. Stress isn’t only unhealthy for the individual, but it can also affect the company they work for. Stress can lead to increased sick days, work errors, and lower productivity. 

Many large companies like Boeing and Google help tackle work-related stress by providing meditation and massage programmes for their employees. Complimentary massage services in the workplace have shown to have the ability to boost employee morale, enhance productivity, and reduce stress by as much as 85%. 

Maximizing the benefits in your workplace

Encouraging employees to stay healthy is beneficial for their wellbeing as well as for the company as a whole. A healthier workplace has a direct, tangible effect on the productivity and profit of a company. Employees who take part in workplace wellness programmes are healthier, happier and feel more satisfied with their jobs and therefore more likely to stay with a company long-term.

At the cusp of it, a workplace wellness programme spreads the knowledge that being mindful of your health can have direct positive results on all aspects of your life. A health-focused workplace provides access to those who may not have the tools or incentives necessary to make the positive choices necessary for their wellbeing.

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