Fruit And Fitbits Are Not Enough - Time To Put More Stock In Your Employees’ Well-being

We live in a world where we define and divide our time between work and the other parts of your life. If something comes up or life happens these compartments intrude on one another causing us to get off balance and everything seems to crumble. By learning how to integrate work with the rest of our life, we are able to increase energy, health, happiness and productivity.

Companies have recognized the need to encourage healthy habits in the workplace by hosting a yoga class, gifting Fitbits and including fresh fruit in the kitchen. These are kind gestures and to the workplace as a healthy environment but these efforts are not really enhancing the well-being of employees.

To make these efforts more impactful, companies need to gift employees the encouragement, knowledge, mindset, self-worth and education necessary to benefit from wellness, fitness and mindful tools. Companies need to stop merely giving employees a fish and rather, teach them how to create healthy habits by finding their intrinsic motivation to create sustainable health habits

The current state of corporate wellness

Currently, companies are looking at initiatives to check boxes that reduce insurance rates. They are gifting employees Fitbits to compete in steps challenges, reimbursement for attending the gym and cash rewards for getting an annual physical. But, there is a gap between what employees value and what is being offered. It leaves employees feeling like a required check box rather than a sense of being cared for and in turn damages rapport and it misses the point. The point being to get employees to be healthy so companies don’t have to spend money on workers comp, PTO/sick days, and low productivity.

At the same time, companies are focused on reduced medical and pharmacy costs when lost productivity results in costs 2.3 times higher.* With the current focus on eliminating insurance costs companies are seeing increase in resources to hire, train and additional costs of losing unhappy employees.

Millennials place health benefits in their top five criteria for picking a workplace.

This highly talented and sought after generation knows the difference between businesses checking boxes and those wanting to create a culture of well-being.

The importance of wellness amongst employees is trending up and social capital is now of equal importance as financial and physical capital. Companies need to switch their focus to delivering tools and experience that enhance collaboration, build trust and credibility for strong rapport and decreased turnover and a truly healthy workforce.

Make well-being a strategic priority in the business performance strategy

To eliminate the gap between what is being offered and employee expectations, companies must offer experiences that educate and equip employees with tools that reduce stress, improve communication, build relationships and ultimately increase the well-being of their employees. Well-being can be defined as a state of optimal health, happiness and purpose.

By increasing employees’ well-being, companies will see an increase in happy employees, reduction in turnover costs, increase in referrals. Based on Limeades’s 2016 Well-Being & Engagement Report, higher well-being has a massive affect on employees perception of their work environments, retention and recruitment:

  • Enjoy their work more: 83 percent strongly agree vs. 41 percent of employees with lower well-being

  • Are more loyal to their teams: 84 percent strongly agree vs. 54 percent of employees with lower well-being

  • Are more likely to recommend their organizations: as a great place to work. 84 percent strongly agree vs. 48 percent of employees with lower well-being

  • Are less likely to leave: 91 percent strongly agree that they intend to stay vs. 55 percent of employees with lower well-being**

INTEGRATE by INDULGE offers education, workshops and experiences that meet the new social capital expectations of employees. These experiences result in enhanced well-being: 

  • Empower employees with practices that decrease stress, build stronger relationships and aid in healthier life both in and outside the office.

  • Influence behavior to utilize practices on a daily basis and how to come back to them when 

  • Inspire continued practice be sharing ongoing communication that encores use of wellness tools and further educates employees on the benefits of certain practices for their well-being.

The change in well-being will cultivate loyalty among employees, attract new employees and retain current employees. To illustrate the benefits, INTEGRATE surveys employees constantly on their well-being and rapport with coworkers, employers and the company.

Current wellness programs may help reduce insurance costs for companies but by including an experience that enhances employees overall well-being, you will increase insurance saving and in addition, have a significant impact on culture, recruitment, retention and productivity and lower costs over time.

Learn more about INTEGRATE

About the author - Sarah Buchanan of INDULGE

After 10 years in a high demand, client facing role and battling to find work/life balance, Sarah learned firsthand the compromises a high stress position can put on well-being. Rather than compartmentalizing wellness from work, Sarah helps companies and employees integrate the two for higher quality work and life.

Sarah is the wellness curious founder of INDULGE which hosts experiences that introduces people to wellness and mindful practices so they can adopt what empowers them. She believe we each have unique biology and priorities which require us to define our own individual balance.

*Leonard Berry, Ann Mirabito, and William Baun, “What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs?,” Harvard Business Review, December 2010. View in article
**2015 Millennial Impact Report, published by the Case Foundation.