All Importance and Future Predictions of Employee Wellbeing
All Employee Experience

Importance and Future Predictions of Employee Wellbeing

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: March 5, 2024 Reading time: 12 minutes

Enabling the best well-being at the workplace should be a priority for every employer. In this article, we will show you why it is crucial for employers and employees alike to maintain optimal well-being levels

Furthermore, you will find out how you can improve your employees’ well-being right now and why it will be more important in the future. 

What Is Employee Wellbeing?

Employee well-being is the totality of the mental health, physical, and financial well-being of an organization’s employees.

The perspective has expanded from the traditional viewpoint that focused mostly on medical benefits into a holistic approach to keeping employees healthy.

Today, top employers are trying to capture as many factors contributing to well-being as possible and are actively looking to make their employees happier and healthier.  

employee wellbeing definition

Why Is Employee Wellbeing Important?

Employee well-being is important because it directly affects employee productivity and satisfaction. The more comfortable and relaxed the employees feel in the workplace, the easier they will perform their work tasks.

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, many employers noticed employee well-being’s impact on their performance and, consequently, on the business results. Employees were distressed and worried, and employers had to find ways to accommodate the rising need for empathy toward their employees. 

More specifically, psychologists have warned that quarantine can spark an increase in diseases such as depression or even PTSD. Therefore, many employers carefully prepared their plans to return to work after COVID-19. 

However, employee wellbeing was an increasingly popular topic even before COVID-19.  Look at why employee wellbeing is more important now than ever. 

1. Reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs 

Companies started realizing that preventing issues related to poor well-being, such as burnout, stress, or sickness, was more profitable than reacting to all these issues when they had already happened. 

Employees who say they often or always experience burnout at work are 63% more likely to take sick days. Poor physical health is a direct contributor to more absenteeism and lackluster results.

Thankfully, many organizations see well-being programs as tools for stress mitigation since they mitigate stress and protect employee health.

For example, Johnson & Johnson estimated that their wellness programs saved them $250 million on healthcare costs over the last decade. The ROI was 2.71$ for every dollar spent.

2. Increased engagement levels

According to research, 85% of companies say wellness programs support employee engagement. When an employee wellbeing program is implemented, employees feel more connected, their health is elevated, and generally happier at work.

All these factors contribute to higher employee engagement levels. However, employee engagement is influenced by employee recognition and meaningful feedback practices, too. Make sure you approach employee engagement holistically when trying to enhance it in your company. 

3. Improved employee productivity 

When people feel healthy, they’re less likely to be distracted from work. After all, it’s impossible to be productive when you’ve got stomach pains or a splitting headache.

Regardless of the job description, workers can’t perform better if their physical or mental state is declining.

By proactively investing in wellbeing, organizations can show genuine care and support a healthy work-life balance that yields productivity.

4. Improved employee morale 

Physical activity is critical for promoting workspace morale. By introducing employee wellbeing initiatives such as mental health workshops or a fitness competition among departments or teams, you can significantly improve your employees’ morale. Remember, high morale equals high retention.

5. Attractive employer branding  

78% of employers offer wellness programs to attract and retain talent. The fight for the best talent on the market is very competitive, and high-quality candidates have several options to choose from when picking their next employer.

Providing employee well-being benefits that align with your future workforce is very important if you want to attract the best candidates to ensure your company’s business success.

Everybody wants to work in a healthy workplace, and job seekers are the first to notice the healthiest companies.

What Are the Three Categories of Employee Wellbeing?

Employee well-being can be put into multiple categories. These types of well-being can help employers determine the various benefits they offer employees. By including more different kinds of benefits, they will approach employee well-being more holistically and optimize the health of all their employees. 

Read what kinds of employee well-being are there. 

1. Financial wellbeing 

One of the most neglected aspects of employee wellbeing is the absence of financial stress. Your employees’ sense of security and their feeling of having enough money to meet their needs affects their well-being and, therefore, their everyday job performance. 

This was best seen in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which 54% of employees were mostly worried about their job security. The possibility of losing financial means severely impacted employee well-being, thus affecting overall focus and productivity. 

Moreover, employees seek adequate pension or student loan repayment benefits when considering a job. That is why employers provide services that help their employees make important financial decisions.  

2. Mental Health

Nowadays, stress is an overwhelmingly present factor in all our lives. A lot of it can come from the workplace, but it still affects your employees’ performance even if it does not.

According to research, 84% of direct effects on productivity loss and 93% of indirect influences can be attributed to mental and physical health

Mental well-being as a part of employee well-being considers burnout or any other feelings of unease in employees. Mental health benefits or a company culture in which mental health is openly discussed can equip your employees with means to take care of their psychological soundness. In turn, employees will take fewer sick days and perform better on the job overall. 

3. Physical health

As a traditional part of employee well-being, physical well-being encompasses preventing or curing physical illnesses.

For example, many companies offer fitness incentives or gym memberships to their employees in order to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent the development of multiple illnesses. 

Taking care of the physical well-being of employees also means providing benefits that will help employees control their ongoing chronic diseases. That is why many organizations started offering onsite health screening programs. 

Many companies have started promoting physical wellbeing with solutions that help their employees team up to build a healthy wellbeing culture.

What Impacts Employee Wellbeing?

Employees’ mental and physical health is constantly affected by things in and outside of work. Naturally, companies have no control over many factors, but they can push for initiatives to improve employee well-being.

Here is how top employers improve workplace health and employee morale.

1. Recognizing your employees’ work 

When their hard work, dedication, and teamwork are appreciated, your employees feel more fulfilled and satisfied in their jobs. Workers recognize each other, feel valued, form meaningful friendships, and help maintain workplace well-being.

They can talk about issues, alleviate problems, and make a difference in mental health. In terms, they prevent stress and safeguard overall well-being.

2. Facilitating seamless communication 

A healthy workplace isn’t one where employees are swamped with mountains of internal communication and content. Allow your internal communication to run smoothly and ensure your employees have fast access to the information they need when they need it. They’ll feel much calmer with less work-related stress and will be able to focus.

3. Enabling easy collaboration 

Collaborating on projects in large teams can be a source of stress for many employees. It can become frustrating and tiresome if employees cannot track each other’s work or assess their contribution to a larger project scheme. 

Teamwork can be stressful – but it is an inevitable part of the work process. You can optimize your employees’ well-being and decrease their stress levels by enabling easy collaboration. 

4. Listening to your employees 

Your employees want to be listened to! When your employees have grievances that are not addressed, they start feeling like their opinions do not matter.

The workplace becomes less pleasant. Listening to your employees and acting upon their recommendations can make them feel like a valued member of your community, especially when it comes from senior leaders.

That is why performing regular employee pulse checks is important. Take a look at a sample of survey questions every employee should be asked. 

5. Giving regular and timely feedback 

Receiving regular feedback makes 68% of employees more satisfied with their jobs. When you continuously give feedback to your employees, they feel like their growth matters.

In addition, your employees can find out how to work better, which allows them to advance their skills and continue learning. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness in a career is crucial for employee well-being. 

Learn how to give feedback to your employees.

6. Showing empathy 

There are no specific instructions on showing empathy in the workplace – but there is an overwhelming need to make workplaces more human. The shift to workplaces that put their employees first and create communities instead of employees and customers has already started.  

Showing empathy and having compassion for your employees’ issues will create an emotional bond between you and your employees, humanize your workplace, and make it a better place for everybody to work. 

What Can Companies Do To Improve Their Employees’ Wellbeing? 

All the best companies have an employee wellbeing strategy and improve employee health like it’s a dire business priority.

It starts with being aware of all the benefits of employee wellbeing in the first place and designing an excellent employee wellbeing program to address certain issues you want to improve upon in your company

Take a look at our ideas for improving your workers’ well-being. 

1. Health screening 

Providing health screening once per year is a great way for your employees to address some health issues they might have. Also, it significantly increases the chances of preventing diseases as they might be caught early. 

For instance, identifying which employees have high blood pressure helps safeguard their health if they’re working in a specific environment.

Besides, having multiple check-ups in a short period will probably heighten the chances of your employees going to a doctor’s office and caring for their health. 

2. Health insurance 

Health insurance is the biggest benefit you should provide your employees. What matters most is offering multiple insurances to your employees so they can pick out the one that matches their specific needs the most. 

3. Gym membership 

Gym membership is a great employee wellbeing strategy that supports promoting wellbeing. Going to the gym helps your workers maintain a healthy body mass index, shows active investment in their health and wellbeing, and is considered a standard benefit today.

4. Employee well-being solution 

Introducing health initiatives like a company-wide competition in running or cycling is not only a great way to get your employees physically active but also to develop their competitiveness and team spirit.

5. Providing healthy meals 

Many employees’ poor health stems from their unhealthy diet. Since preparing meals takes a lot of time, many employees opt for fast food for lunch. If you start providing healthier meals in your cafeteria or negotiate discounts for restaurants with healthy eating options, you will help your employees stay healthy and more focused in the workplace. 

6. Mental wellbeing apps

There are several mindfulness and meditation apps you can look into and propose for your employees to use if you detect they could use it. Help your employees discover such apps and let them know how beneficial meditation and mindfulness can be in their daily lives and coping with stress. 

7. Psychological counseling services 

By offering psychological counseling services, you will also message your employees that their mental health is your concern, too. The stigma of asking for psychological help will be reduced, and your employees will have access to mental health experts who can help them deal with their issues. 

8. Flexible work options 

When you offer flexible working hours or remote work options, you are increasing the work-life balance for your employees. According to research, only 8% of employees believe work-life balance is less important than compensation. Besides, knowing that remote work is increasingly popular, this is one of the easiest and most desired employee well-being benefits your company could offer

9. Financial benefits 

Many employees are nowadays asking for life insurance, pension or student loan repayment options. Helping your employees make wise financial decisions for their future can help you become a more attractive employer, too. 

10. Employee well-being initiatives according to your employees 

Every company is different – so maybe you can start by surveying your employees about employee wellbeing initiatives they would find most useful. Also, you can inspect your employees’ state of mind when it comes to workplace stress sources.  

The Future of Employee Wellbeing 

Employee well-being is more important than ever because companies have finally realized the power it has to transform their employees’ lives, reduce costs related to absenteeism and healthcare, and create a healthy company culture.

Employers have been focusing less on particular health conditions and more on benefits such as fitness activities and standing desks. After all, preventing the development of diseases is much cheaper than curing them, and it benefits the employees as well.  

According to a 2023 report from the HR Research Institute, reducing work-related stress will be the primary focus of employee wellbeing programs. The report cites that the top stressors for employees are overwhelming workloads (62%) and difficulty balancing work and personal life (58%).

While remote and hybrid work arrangements are typically presented as core well-being initiatives, their impact is not as robust as some HR leaders would like to believe. Instead, employee wellbeing programs of the future will focus more on identifying the biggest stressors and combating them with personalized benefits.

This will lead to more diversified employee well-being benefits down the road. For instance, if a single-parent employee has difficulty managing their life-work balance, a personalized well-being benefit may include additional childcare options.

Employee disengagement, absenteeism, and healthcare costs are too high to be ignored. Therefore, employers will gradually realize the potential in employee well-being and start taking care of their employees’ mental, physical, and financial well-being.

Embrace a culture of wellness and reap the rewards of a thriving workforce.

Empower a happier, healthier workforce.

Experience the difference wellbeing cloud makes for your employees.

Start today