Employee wellbeing is a crucial factor that directly impacts the overall success and growth of any organization. A workforce that is physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy is more likely to be productive, engaged, and motivated. On the other hand, poor employee wellbeing can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, higher turnover rates, and ultimately, a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.
In this blog, we will explore the cost of poor employee wellbeing and how corporate wellness programs can play a significant role in improving it.
Measuring Employee Wellbeing
Wellbeing encompasses many different but important aspects of an individual. Measuring all the factors with the right metrics can help employees improve their overall health and wellbeing, allowing organizations to thrive.
Gallup partnered with leading scientists, psychologists, and economists to study wellbeing in almost 98% of the global population. The 5 key elements that people needed to thrive in their lives were –
- Physical wellbeing
- Financial wellbeing
- Social wellbeing
- Community wellbeing
- Occupational wellbeing
Of all the 5 elements, occupational wellness played a huge role in laying a strong foundation for the other employee wellbeing aspects.
Gallup came up with a metric to track employee suffering and thriving. Gallup Net Thriving assesses the workforce’s current and future resiliency. It uses a two-part question, the outcomes of which sort users into one of three wellbeing categories:
- Thriving: people with positive views of their present life and of the next five years
- Struggling: people struggling in their current life and have uncertain/negative views of the future
- Suffering: people who claim their lives are miserable and have negative views of the future
Cost of Poor Employee Health and Wellbeing
Many research outcomes have proven that employee health and wellbeing have a huge impact on many aspects of workplace wellness. Apart from rising healthcare costs and reduced engagement, poor employee health and wellbeing impacts performance, retention, burnout, and overall business growth.
A Gallup study reported the impact of poor employee health and wellbeing on organizations. Here are some outcomes of the study.
- Preventable lifestyle-based health conditions accrue 75% of the healthcare costs.
- Almost $20 million were lost for every 10,000 workers as a result of lost opportunity by struggling employees.
- Employee burnout was the primary reason for a $322 billion global loss towards turnover and poor productivity.
- Burnout also costed the companies an average of 15% to 20% of total payroll in voluntary turnover costs.
In its study, Gallup reported that engaged employees who are not flourishing in their lives are more of a risk to the organization compared to disengaged workers. When engaged but non-thriving employees were compared with those who were engaged and thriving –
- 66% were more likely to experience anxiety or worry
- 61% were more likely to be burned out always or frequently
- 48% were highly likely to be stressed daily
- There were 2X chances of non-thriving employees being sad and angry on a daily basis
While career wellbeing had a deep-seated impact on other wellbeing dimensions, employee engagement was the key driver of career wellbeing. Owing to the reciprocal effect, boosting employee engagement could be mutually beneficial for workers and business outcomes alike.
Despite companies investing sizably in their employee wellness solutions, a disconnect persists. Aligning employee wellbeing goals with business objectives can establish a workplace strategy that helps the workforce and business.
Investing in employee well-being through corporate wellness programs is a win-win situation for both employees and organizations. The benefits of such initiatives extend beyond individual employees and contribute to the organization’s success as well. With reduced healthcare costs, increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and improved retention rates, companies can reap a significant return on investment.
It is time for organizations to recognize the cost of poor employee well-being and take proactive steps to implement robust corporate wellness programs, ensuring a healthier and happier workforce. By doing so, they can build a thriving workplace where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to perform their best, leading to long-term success for both individuals and the organization as a whole.