There is enough evidence proving that employee health and wellness impact workplace culture and organizational productivity. And so, offering employee benefits and services has become a priority to most employers to ensure happy, healthy, and productive employees.
A 2019 study showed that employers are spending almost $3.6 million to support employee health and wellness, and to create a healthy workplace culture.
Depending on the company’s budget, employers are offering an array of employee benefits and services for their health and wellness. Onsite gyms, gym memberships, office lunches and snacks, flexible working hours, sports and cooking equipment, sports gear and wear, health assessments and screenings, health coaching, and more.
Unfortunately, it might not work right all the time, and you may not get the desired wellness or business outcomes.
A recent study by Future Workplace and View surveyed almost 1600 employees across North America to know the employee benefits and perks they expected from the workplace, and how it impacted their productivity.
A Harvard study revealed that almost 80% of the employee wellness programs offered by large US organizations failed or did not give the expected business or wellness outcomes.
A combined report of many studies revealed that employees preferred basic amenities as their primary working perks – better working space, natural sunlight, fresh air, and the freedom to personalize their workstation.
Surprisingly, almost half of the surveyed employees agreed that the presence of natural light and air quality influenced their productivity, state of mind, and overall health and wellness, whereas the technology-based gadgets, facilities, and tools were the least preferred choices. Few even went on to reveal that they lost focus and performed low because of poor air quality and dull working space.
Businesses should know what kind of employee benefits and services will make their workforce happy and productive, and start working on it as it is an effective business strategy. A healthy and positive workplace culture that ensures employee engagement and wellness will reflect in better performance and productivity, while lowering absenteeism and disengagement.
Owing to high absenteeism rates, companies spent an average of $3,600 per hourly and $2,650 annually for their employees, leaving a major impact on the business returns.
A Gartner Research study showed that by providing the right workplace culture, environment, and employee benefits and services, the workforce is likely to be happy and perform well.
In view of the reports, companies are now looking to adopt employee wellness programs that not only focus on holistic wellness dimensions, but also help in building a healthy workplace culture.
Here are a few ways to improve your workplace culture and environment to ensure employee health and wellness.
Offer Suitable Working Benefits and Perks
Most employers are under the assumption that offering high-technology gadgets and expensive facilities will keep the employees happy and engaged. However, the fact is that spending on pointless working perks will only give unimpressive results. To make sure you are spending on the right employee benefits and services, you must know what your workforce really needs.
Hold team meetings or conduct a survey or poll to identify your employees’ wellness interests. Although only a few employees may opt for expensive working benefits and perks like gyms or memberships, a majority of them may emphasize the basic workplace culture and environmental factors like clean and sufficient workspace, flexible working hours, walking breaks, and likewise.
So, before you start spending on your employee benefits and services, make sure you are spending it on the working perks which your workforce is looking forward to, and cut down the expenses which are not worth the cost.
Allow Workspace Personalization
Personalization gives the employees the feeling that their interests and needs are valued at the workplace. The survey reported that 58% of the employees preferred a fresh environment to work at, 50% said they performed well when they had a good outdoor view, and almost 33% said that they wanted the ability to modify the workplace temperature.
To stay in line with the employee wellness demands, Hewlett Packard Enterprise went a step ahead to allow its employees to control the acoustics and noise in their open floor plan.
Cisco has also offered its employees similar personalization benefits to control the acoustics.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals allows its employees to control the streaming of natural light via a mobile app.
Focus on Holistic Wellness Dimensions
Many companies are under the impression that employee wellness programs are all about promoting better physical health. However, the other holistic wellness like mental wellbeing, finances, social connections, and workplace culture equally influence employee health and wellness.
Employers can work on creating healthy work environments and encourage holistic wellness habits, like –
- Physical Wellness – Encourage physical activity and healthy eating habits through suitable wellness challenges. Provide healthy food options like snacks or lunches. Ensure the workstations support the ergonomics of your employees.
- Mental Wellness – Give flexible working hours, health coaching, address workplace burnout, and other concerns of the employees.
- Financial Wellness – Offer financial consultations, cash rewards and incentives, set paid leaves, HSA contributions, and premiums to support their current situation and for a better financial future.
- Workplace Wellness – Make sure your employees have access to fresh air and natural light, noise-free working environments, suitable temperature, and other convenient facilities at their workspace.
By offering the best-fitting employee benefits and services, you will not only ensure better employee engagement, productivity, and workplace wellness, but also save your wellness dollars by spending it on the right working perks that will positively impact employee health and organizational productivity.