What Are the Outcomes of Employee Well-being Initiatives?

Whether you’re very familiar with workplace wellness initiatives or just starting to explore options for your organization, you have likely asked yourself, “What do wellness programs actually do for my company?” You’re not alone in wondering how the impact of well-being initiatives measures up for employers and employees alike.

As workplace stress rises and employers seek ways to recruit and retain their top talent, the outcome of wellness initiatives at work is becoming an increasingly important topic. Instead of extravagant workspaces and bigger bonuses, employees are looking to their organizations to provide essential support for their mental health and work/life balance.

Employees are looking to their companies to prioritize health above sheer productivity. In response, organizations are turning to wellness initiatives to equip their employees and create a force in the workplace that is healthy, happy, and productive.

Recently, we partnered with The HR Research Institute to survey hundreds of HR professionals worldwide and find out just how wellness offerings have impacted their organizations. The State of Employee Health and Well-being 2021 report shows an in-depth look at the impact of employee wellness programs on cost, effectiveness, and employee engagement.

We All Need Wellness and We Need it Now

The need for corporate wellness programs has become more apparent over the past decade, and increasingly over the past 18 months of a global pandemic. Over 200 million workdays are lost annually due to mental health conditions, costing around $16.8 billion each year in direct employee productivity.

The impacted dollar amount is much higher if we look at the overall cost of job stress in the U.S., with a price tag estimated at more than $300 billion annually as a result of accidents, absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity, insurance costs, and workers’ compensation.

Overcoming these obstacles and providing a better quality of life for employees greatly impacts your company’s profitability and performance. Let’s take a closer look at the direct outcomes of wellness initiatives in the workplace.

Outcome #1 – Improved Employee Experience

Over half of the HR professionals surveyed said well-being initiatives at their company resulted in an improved employee experience. 49 percent of respondents said employee retention was positively impacted by wellness offerings, followed closely by a positive uptick in employee engagement and improved employee performance.

When given access to wellness programs, top performers (and their families) can manage stress and make improvements to their own lives, providing more reasons to stay at their company for the long haul.

At Burnalong, we’ve seen that 29 percent of classes completed on the platform are in specialty categories that include mental health support, meditation, stress management, mindfulness, and sleep. Further, with four free family accounts, your organization can also support your employees’ families thus impacting dependent healthcare claims as they are also able to pursue wellness on their own time. All of this leads to an improved employee experience so you can attract and retain top talent.

Outcome #2 – Less Work Stress & Missed Days

About a third of HR professionals said workplace wellness had a direct impact on work-related stress and absenteeism. As we talked about earlier, the impact of stress and employee mental health can lead to missed deadlines, missed work, and missed opportunities, costing your organization both time and money.

In just one example of blue-collar workers, introducing wellness programs resulted in a net difference of 11,726 fewer disability days in the first two years.

This outcome also points to the need to provide more than a fitness solution for your employees. While there will be many employees who will engage and benefit from exercise, there will be many who will benefit from mindfulness classes, stretching, and sleep support so they can be focused and alert every day. Check out our many wellness categories to see how your team might benefit.

Outcome #3 – Wellness Metrics & Safety Records

The health and well-being of employees should be a top priority for your organization, not just in word but also in action. Showing employees, job seekers, and stakeholders that you truly care for your greatest assets – your people – goes a long way in creating an exceptional company image.

Over a quarter of HR professionals say that wellness programs improve their company’s wellness metrics and create better safety records, protecting employees and stakeholders alike. Improved employee health and wellness can also benefit your organization with a decrease in insurance claims (see outcome 4). Plus, with the type of data Burnalong supplies clients, insights into trending class categories so you can provide more relevant employee support unique to each office location.

Outcome #4 – Insurance Costs and Claims

Research shows that medical costs fall nearly $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs. When wellness programs include employee families too, that dollar amount can increase exponentially as dependents also pursue holistic wellness with the available programming.

Furthermore, wide adoption of such programs proves beneficial for insurance budgets and employee health outcomes. As the cost of healthcare rises, almost 25 percent of HR professionals find that workplace wellness initiatives lower medical insurance costs and result in fewer disability claims.

The Case for Employee Wellness Programs

As you can see, workplace wellness is about more than employee perks and insurance costs, although these have proven to be inherent benefits as well.

With each outcome, the case for an employee wellness program builds. Supporting the health and wellness of your employees, and their families, is a rising tide that lifts all boats. By focusing on wellness, you can expect to see an improvement in employee experience—leading you attract and retain talent—plus reduced absenteeism, improved safety records, and reduced insurance claim costs. From ROI to employee retention, the case for wellness is a strong one.

To learn more about how Burnalong can support your wellness initiatives with custom strategies and programs, schedule a quick demo! You can also get more stats and information on the state of employee health and well-being in the full report.

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