- Health and wellness programmes are mutually beneficial: They can have direct and indirect advantages for employees and employers.
- All aspects of employee health and wellbeing can improve: Health and wellness programmes can contribute positively to an employee’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
- Implementing health and wellness programmes can have a wider impact: They can enhance an organisation’s reputation, improve its position in the job market and promote involvement within the community.
In today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, employers are constantly searching for innovative ways to enhance their organisations’ performance and attract top talent. One strategy that has proven to be effective is the implementation of employee health and wellness programmes.
The benefits of these programmes go beyond cost savings; they promote a workplace culture that prioritises individuals and their wellbeing. In this article, we discuss ten compelling benefits of employee health and wellness programmes, demonstrating why they are not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ but a strategic imperative for every organisation.
Improves employee productivity
Employee health and wellness programmes can significantly boost productivity by reducing stress, enhancing focus and increasing energy levels. Healthier, happier employees engage more with their work and workplace. A study of 700 employees by the Social Market Foundation and the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy at the University of Warwick, for example, found that workers were up to 12% more productive when offered wellbeing perks.
Better employee engagement
Engaged employees are often more loyal and committed to their organisations. Health and wellness programmes foster a sense of belonging and show that the company values the wellbeing of individual employees, resulting in greater engagement and enthusiasm at work. Moreover, teams with higher levels of engagement demonstrate up to 21% more profitability.
Wellness programmes can lead to a decrease in employee absenteeism. When employees are healthier and have good mental health, they are less likely to take sick days, leading to increased productivity and cost savings related to sick pay and temporary cover.
Increases employee retention
High employee turnover can be costly and disruptive. Employee healthcare benefits, including health and wellness programmes, can improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, making it more likely that valuable talent will be retained for the long term. This, in turn, contributes to a more diverse and skilled workforce, and a better company culture. Research conducted by Willis Towers Watson revealed that 75% of employees would be more likely to stay with their employer if they offered a good employee benefits package.
Helps overcome health inequalities
Health inequalities refer to the unfair and preventable differences in health across a population and between different groups within society. Employee health and wellness programmes can play a vital role in addressing health inequalities and promoting a more equitable workplace by:
- Providing access to preventative care
- Educating employees about healthy lifestyles and raising awareness of early intervention
- Reducing health disparities
- Offering financial support in relation to healthcare and leading healthier lifestyles
- Reducing barriers to accessing healthcare services
- Targeting specific health challenges, such as cancer, mental health issues and chronic conditions
- Offering personalised plans that cater to the needs of each employee
Lowers costs associated with ill health
Proactive health and wellness initiatives can improve employees’ physical and mental health but they can also lead to lower health-related expenses for both the employer and the employee. For example, if an employee’s health improves, they may no longer need to pay for medications or holistic treatments. For employers, employee health and wellness programmes can reduce costs, such as paying employee wages when they are out of the office to attend appointments, and occupational sick pay.
Enhances work-life balance
According to the 2023 Randstad Employer Brand Research Report (REBR), work-life balance remains the most important factor for job hunters when looking for an employer, with 44% of employees stating they would leave their current employer to improve their work-life balance. Therefore, employee health and wellness programmes that contribute to a better work-life balance can not only make a difference in employees’ lives but also improve their overall job satisfaction and performance.
The importance of health benefits to employees doesn’t just lie with their contribution to physical and mental health but also to financial wellbeing. Health and wellness programmes can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for employees such as the cost of gym membership or private healthcare. They can also lead to healthier habits which can lower personal expenses. For example, if someone stops smoking as a result of an employee health and wellness programme, they will retain the money they previously spent on cigarettes.
For employers, employee health and wellness programmes can result in savings in a multitude of ways above and beyond those already mentioned, such as paying less sick pay. For instance, wellness programmes can focus on injury prevention and ergonomics, reducing workplace injuries. This leads to fewer workers’ compensation claims and lower insurance premiums.
Boosts talent acquisition
Organisations that invest in employee health and wellness are more attractive to potential hires. A robust employee health and wellness programme can serve as a unique selling point in recruitment efforts, helping to attract top-tier talent. The REBR report reveals that an attractive salary and benefits is the second highest priority for employees, despite survey respondents placing attractive salary and benefits as ninth when evaluating what they feel their current employer provides.
Improves employer reputation
A positive reputation as a supportive and caring employer not only helps attract top talent but also fosters a more engaged and loyal workforce and can attract customers, too. Health and wellness programmes can enhance an organisation’s reputation by:
- Demonstrating employee-centric values
- Contributing to a culture of care
- Making them more competitive in the job market
- Increasing employee job satisfaction
- Reducing employee turnover
- Promoting more active engagement with the local community
- Leading to industry awards and recognition
- Generating positive media coverage
- Turning employees into brand advocates
If you’d like to include cancer-specific support as part of your employee health and wellness programme, Perci Health can help. Our online platform enables those affected by cancer to sign up and connect with specialists for on-demand, tailored support. Find out more about our cancer care employee benefits.
‘Happiness and productivity: Understanding the happy-productive worker’, smf.co.uk, October 2023, https://www.smf.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Social-Market-Foundation-Publication-Briefing-CAGE-4-Are-happy-workers-more-productive-281015.pdf
10 Timely Statistics About The Connection Between Employee Engagement And Wellness, forbes.com, October 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2019/01/16/10-timely-statistics-about-the-connection-between-employee-engagement-and-wellness
‘Statistics show the importance of employee benefits’, employeebenefits.co.uk, October 2023, https://employeebenefits.co.uk/statistics-show-the-importance-of-employee-benefits/
‘Country Report Employer Brand Research 2023’, randstad.co.uk, October 2023, https://www.randstad.co.uk/employers/workforce-insights/rebr-report/