For far too long, companies embraced a drone-like mentality that forced all the fun out of office life. But that changed when Google showed that wellness programs can (and should) be incorporated into the workplace. It occurred to them, as it has with almost half of all US workplaces today, that a healthy body is a happy body- which usually leads to a happy brain.
Wellness programs help employees manage their stress more effectively, and as a bonus, they’re also known to boost morale. Sounds good, right? Here are just some benefits of wellness programs.
Employees learn to manage stress more effectively
Stress in the office can be caused by a lot of things such as internal disorganization issues, managers demanding after-hours availability, and unresolved workplace conflicts happening within your team (among others). This can also cause employees to want to rip their computers from the desks and chuck them out the window. Bottom line, one key to reducing stress at work is to ask, “Why is it here in the first place?”
So how does managing stress at work relate to overall employee morale and wellness?
By identifying the causes of increased stress levels, companies can then use wellness programs to teach employees how to resolve their work stressors in a healthy fashion. The 2018 Wellness Report by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) highlighted that 53 percent of participating companies had improved employee engagement and satisfaction levels once a stress management component was added to their wellness program.
The good news is that there are plenty of strategies out there to mitigate workplace stress (and, in effect, boost morale). Group trust activities can resolve the mistrust stressors that employees often feel towards upper management during periods of financial uncertainty. Morning yoga sessions can help employees feel connected and start the day in a more mindful and relaxed mindset.
Leadership silos that limit employee engagement are eradicated
Wellness programs can effectively remove the “silo mentality” that the idea of a corner office has created, leading to a significant increase in team engagement. 63 percent of companies saw positive jumps in their employee satisfaction rating when managers took part in the wellness programs, standing by the sides of their employees as leaders- not bosses.
There’s no such thing as “the corner office” anymore- the unapproachable part of the building where leaders reside while their underlings are hard at work. That’s been snuffed out, thanks to a huge spike in participation and active leadership support of company-wide wellness efforts.
And when leadership is supportive of your mental health, it makes your company a better place to work.
Wellness culture = better workplace culture
In a recent HR Dive study, most participating candidates stated that they would quit their current job in favor of a company that offered more (or even better) wellness benefits. Establishing a positive workplace culture relies on a wellness program that values the importance of mental, physical, and emotional health. For example, group exercise- like the morning yoga we mentioned- can improve employee morale, encourage supportive working relationships, and foster a sense of team spirit that translates to team productivity.
It makes sense that the healthiest employees would be the happiest- and therefore most productive. That realization has led to more than half of U.S. companies creating wellness programs that help their people find the time needed to focus on their emotional, physical, and mental health. They’ve become an integral component of company culture.
Morale is boosted
Through the right wellness programs, business owners can create vibrant workplaces that boost employee morale, increase productivity levels, and inherently deliver enhanced results.
Studies show that when the workplace culture isn’t built up enough (or if it’s ignored completely), employees suffer from lower productivity levels and workers can suffer from lack of motivation. By taking the time to introduce things like healthy snack foods and meditation practices, employees are able to refocus, become more energized, and move beyond achieving the status quo. Introducing a culture that focuses on employee wellness mitigates workplace stress, and ensures that the office is a mentally healthy place to be. In short, the right wellness program creates a vibrant work environment that nourishes employees, encourages healthy living, and inevitably creates happy and productive workers.