In a 2007 study by the American Psychological Association (APA), work was found to be a top source of very or somewhat significant stress for adults. A similar study by APA conducted in 2014 reported an increase of extreme stress levels in adults that had a negative impact on their mental and physical health.
What does this mean to employers? Workplace stressors have been liked to high turnover rates, less productivity and more costly health coverage – costing companies thousands of dollars and jeopardizing the wellbeing of your workforce.
Wellness initiatives have become a prominent benefit within the last decade. In fact, 76% of employers offered some type of wellness program, resource or service to their employees in 2014. If your company hasn’t moved to a health-improvement program or offering, try concentrating on these three areas for a happy, healthy workforce.
- Implement an Employee Wellness Program. The easiest way to get your employees engaged in their wellbeing is by creating an Employee Wellness Program. These programs educate employees and provide guidance in making better health and wellness choices. Not only do these programs benefit your workforce, but employers as well. Reports show that 72% of employers who implemented an employee wellness program reduced the costs of health care and helped to further build their company culture.
- Encourage healthy habits. As the spotlight on employee wellness continues to grow, employers are tasked with providing initiatives and incentives that engage their employees in healthy behaviors. Start a lunch time walking club or create a clean cooking recipe guide with the opportunity to get rewarded for employee participation.
- Be mindful of work life balance. The tug of war between work life and home life is enough to send some employees into a tailspin. In most cases, home life wins by a landslide. Employers should encourage a healthy work life balance so that employees feel fulfilled in all aspects of their life. Offering a flexible work schedule or encouraging the use of paid time off (PTO) allow employees to stay productive while dodging a massive burnout.
- Create a positive environment. According to 90% of workers, the most valued attributes in a workplace are honesty, trust and fairness. An open and inspiring atmosphere allows employees to feel confident in sharing their thoughts, ideas and feedback. Open lines of communication and meaningful working relationships remind employees they are valued.
- Give team members a sense of purpose. Approximately 2.7 million employees quit their jobs monthly and employees’ lack of empowerment has become a grave concern. Share company, department and individual contributor goals with employees and how they align with your company values. Understanding a person’s significance in the big picture can be the key to thriving in their position.
- Incorporate an Employee Assistance Program. Benefit packages have become more and more competitive with health care, dental and vision benefits – but what about mental health? Comprehensive Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) allow employees to confidentially share concerns, ask questions and discuss emotional issues surrounding their personal or work life with program professionals. IWP currently offers two EAP programs to our employees and their immediate family members.