In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, many employers are investigating workplace wellness programs to benefit their stressed-out staff. But a recent obsession with radical-self-improvement and reaching unattainable goals is also running rampant in many offices and creating burnout. This unsustainable mindset is known as toxic productivity.

Workplace wellness programs are policies designed to combat toxic productivity, improve health outcomes, and encourage healthy behavior at work. Available programs may vary depending on the organization and the needs of the employees. Examples of wellness programs seen at other institutions include weight-loss initiatives, smoking cessation programs, life-saving women’s health resources, vaccination clinics, health screenings, nutrition education, and more.

Utilizing your overworked staff without providing wellness initiatives can leave you with a sickly and unmotivated office, not to mention the negative effect an unhealthy environment can have on workplace morale. 

Wellness programs can help employers in the long run by lowering healthcare costs, leaving you with an overall healthier workplace. If you are on the fence about integrating one of these programs at your company, read on for five ways wellness programs can improve your employees’ health and overall productivity.

Decreases absenteeism

Absenteeism (the practice of repeatedly staying away from work or school) has always been an issue facing employers. Absenteeism costs large employers up to $286 per person and small companies up to $81 per person for every missed shift. Though these figures may seem insignificant, they can add up if many employees start to skip work regularly. According to a study by Employee Benefit News magazine, mental health issues alone caused 31% of respondents to be less productive at work or miss work entirely. To remedy absenteeism and take care of your employees’ mental health, consider stress-reduction programs and health screenings for your staff.

Combats the rising issue of presenteeism

Presenteeism is a newly-researched workplace pandemic similar to absenteeism. Presenteeism is the act of being physically present at work but being mentally distracted due to illness or personal issues. The pressure to work while sick can lead to a loss of productivity, poor overall employee health, exhaustion, and can spread disease among your staff. Wellness initiatives can give your team a much-needed break to step back and assess their overall health status.

Changes negative behavior patterns

Many employee wellness programs attempt to reverse human behavior that may cause chronic illnesses. The aforementioned chronic illnesses are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. as of 2018, so these are issues affecting a large percentage of the workforce. Implementing programs to prevent chronic illness can reduce healthcare costs for employers down the road and can help employees stay healthier, longer.

Helps with retention and employee loyalty

Employees who feel taken care of by their organization are more likely to stay on staff for long periods. A company that is willing to provide all-encompassing wellness programs for their team will increase individuals’ loyalty towards their work and foster a caring environment. Employee wellness initiatives can be very beneficial for employers who play the long game and rely on consistent staff for success.

Healthier and happier employees are productive employees

Overall, studies show that employees who feel taken care of are happier, more productive, and less likely to miss work. Wellness programs are the perfect solution for employers trying to reach out to employees who may be struggling mentally or physically. After all the shifts seen in the workplace over the past year, it can be tough to know how to reach out when it feels like everyone is flailing. However, you can take small steps to implement workplace wellness programs to ensure your staff feels supported while they are working.