The benefits companies offer play a key role in attracting employees and retaining them. Workplace wellness has grown in importance to both employees and employers in recent years, and such programs will continue to evolve in 2022 – in part as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation.
Organizations that place an emphasis on comprehensive employee wellness often are successful, creating holistic environments that foster a mentally and physically healthier workforce that’s better positioned to thrive, said James Webb (www.jamesharoldwebb.com), a successful entrepreneur in the medical and fitness sectors and author of “A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity.”
“You have to make all of your employees feel fully supported and appreciated,” Webb said. “In today’s hyper-competitive context of workers having leverage and leaving for greener pastures, the benefits and wellness features companies offer are as important as salary to many employees. Companies that want to compete for and keep talented and dedicated workers, and to grow their business, have to make wellness a priority.
“At the same time, companies can’t afford chronic absenteeism. Employees drive results. Companies are paying more for employees’ health insurance and workers are paying more. So, companies and employees have a huge stake in saving on health-care expenses, and it behooves businesses to look at health holistically and as directly linked to their financial future.”
Webb offers the following benefits of having wellness programs in the workplace:
- Improves employee health behaviors. A wellness program doesn’t guarantee good health for all employees, Webb said, but it does educate them about changing and improving health behaviors.
“By improving the behaviors of the workforce, employees lower their health risks and adopt healthy habits,” Webb said. “Eating healthier, exercising more, and managing stress are important parts of a holistic health approach.”
- Increases productivity. Research shows that employees who are healthier tend to be more productivein the workplace.
“That’s because they’re more rested, energized and motivated to complete their work,” Webb said. “With an effective wellness program, you have less absenteeism. And healthy people are more able to do a variety of tasks, focus for long periods, and have the drive required to perform at a consistently high level.”
- Improves employee engagement. “When companies create a culture focused on employee wellness, they typically have a more engaged workforce,” Webb said. “Weight-loss challenges, walking groups and other wellness activities help employees feel more connected to the company they work for and to their co-workers.”
- Makes mental health as important as physical health.One area of workplace wellness that has trended in a positive direction has been access to mental health services. One surveyfound that 39 percent of employers have updated their mental health plans since the start of the pandemic to expand access to various avenues of help.
“With enough space for psychological wellness,” Webb said, “your employees will be able to solve problems more easily than if they were fatigued, distracted or anxious.”
- Creates an environment of opportunity. Webb said a healthier workforce means many individuals have a better chance to reach their potential while helping the company grow toward its goals. Professional development and career-tracking, he said, should be tied into a corporate wellness program.
“As leaders and mentors we have an opportunity to create an environment of opportunity,” he said. “We can do this by helping employees discover for themselves what is best for their lives, and that will ultimately be what is best for the organization as well. Creating a space within your organization that presents opportunities for growth and exploration for your employees can be a powerful thing. A comprehensive wellness program will help you create a culture of caring, a strong sense of loyalty, and a much stronger company. When you put the health and overall well-being of your workforce first, top-flight recruiting and all-important retention take care of themselves.”
About James Harold Webb
James Harold Webb (www.jamesharoldwebb.com) is the author of “Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity.” His career in radiology saw him rise from a technologist to becoming a leader in the industry as the entrepreneur of several companies focused on outpatient medical imaging, pain management and laboratory services. In 2014, Webb turned his attention to the fitness sector and developed, owned and oversaw the management of 33 Orangetheory Fitness® franchises throughout North Texas. They were all sold to a private equity group in 2019. He currently owns the franchise rights for Dallas and Austin for BeBalanced Centers, a homeopathic hormone weight-loss franchise. His team has three stores open with plans for another 10 to 12 over the next four years.