How can you start your employee wellness programme?

Do you want to reduce employee turnover and increase employee engagement? Then read on!

The latest HR word to watch, employee wellness is essentially policy that’s designed to support and promote the health of employees. How this is done can vary wildly from encouraging healthy eating/exercise, or offering flexible working hours.

These programmes are becoming increasingly important in today’s workplace, since the rise of awareness over health, financial and mental wellbeing generally and HR’s role in making sure their employees are happy and engaged.

So why is this such an important concept now?

Research has shown across over 50 academic papers that healthy and less stressed employees have lower absenteeism. In addition, retail and hospitality employees are also more likely to job hop as a result of poor employee engagement – and at an average cost of £30000 per turnover of staff, it’s an expensive mistake to avoid tackling the issue.

The Government’s Thriving at Work report also lists that over 300,000 workers lose their jobs each year due to mental health issues, to a combined loss of productivity of £42bn!

How to get buy-in to your wellness programme:

Explain why it’s essential, and the ROI

If your organisation is already good to your employees, pitching to senior leaders will likely be an easy step as there will already be alignment. However, if that is not the case, some friction at this step is likely – which is where pointing to loss of productivity and turnover costs can help secure the buy-in.

Appeal to the rational and the emotional.

If you can explain the above statistics leading to a lower profit margin for the executives, alongside appealing to the emotional state, you are on the right path. The emotional buy-in works best when employees who have had mental or physical problems themselves speak openly about it.

Brendan Street, Head of CBT at Nuffield Health, speaks about the Law industry and how they have adapted, “Suicide is quite a problem among lawyers. There’s a lot of law companies now where the head lawyer will come out and say “I’ve had depression and it’s okay to talk about it”.


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