Employers Embrace Wellness Trends Saving Money & Mental Health

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Employers Embrace Wellness Trends Saving Money & Mental Health

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As healthcare costs continue to escalate, employers are starting to embrace wellness trends to control costs and manage stress. In addition, wellness activities often improve employee engagement and retention, which helps companies reduce their turnover costs. Healthier, happier employees- it’s a win-win!

Work related stress is estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion annually. Employees suffering from stress have higher absentee rates and are less productive. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, reports that work related stress accounts for 40% of job turnover. On average, it costs businesses one fifth of an employee’s salary to replace that worker, and it can cost up to 200% of their annual salary.

Employers Embrace Wellness Trends Saving Money & Mental Health

Businesses are integrating wellness strategies into an overall health enhancing work experience. They offer numerous options, including health club discounts, personal training sessions, weight reduction programs, smoking cessation and meditation. Healthy habits can prevent or lower the risk of serious health conditions and help manage an existing condition. Employers are challenged to get employees actively “engaged” in their health and wellness and create a culture that supports healthy lifestyles long term. Simple changes such as offering healthy choices in the café and encouraging employees to take an hour break at lunch time can go a long way. More progressive companies are pursuing more innovative ways such as walking meetings and standing workstations. Many companies leverage their enterprise social network and mobile apps to motivate employees, track milestones and celebrate successes.

Focus on Mental Fitness

Mental fitness is increasingly being recognized as an equally important trend. Leading companies such as Google, Target and General Mills are including meditation instruction as part of stress reduction programs. Harvard Pilgrim’s “Mindfulness” program helps you into your own strength to manage stress, increase mental discipline. Benefits include training your mind to be more focused, to “see with clarity” and to have “spaciousness for creativity,” which builds resilience and spurs innovation.

Win-Win Situation

Robust wellness programs can lower healthcare costs, improve productivity and increase engagement and retention. It’s no longer just a “nice thing to do,” it’s a smart business move.

What is your company doing to promote wellness? What are your goals? Any successes that you can share with us? I look forward to your comments.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Great post, Lisa. As someone who took a FMLA leave of absence from her job from work related stress in 2005, the stress of work can take over your life. Companies need to be looking more at this as they consider healthcare offerings for their employees and as an employee retention tool.

    JMM

    1. Thanks for sharing Jessica! Many are hesitant to admit the full impact of stress in the workplace. I agree- many wellness programs are inexpensive to implement and quickly engage employees. -Lisa

  2. Great note on an ever arising problem, Lisa. I’m only 31, but I had experienced the mental and the body stress related to almost any job I’ve done. Including those while being a student. Long sitting hours make my neck get stiff and blocked and I had to seek an osteopath. I can barely imagine what those workers feel like who’ve been in say, in just one job for 40 years!… (typical in Europe where I’m writing from). And I am also a very sporty person. To sum it up – we do need a change in our typical office working environment. We need to get informed, we need to pay attention to how we sit, how we eat, whether we get enough breaks. I’ve studied the subject for years now and wish you all to get informed. Stay healthy!

  3. People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition. Employee peer recognition creates a sense of belonging among the employees as well as a sense of job security, knowing that the employee’s efforts or hard work is not wasted. This will drive them to work harder on the next task. Do it right with: http://www.peoplehum.com/#bl

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