Wellness initiatives are designed to boost the health and well-being of employees with the end goal of improving employee morale, boosting engagement, enhancing company performance and cutting down on employee absenteeism or in some cases employee presenteeism.
Much has happened over the past decade with regards to introducing employee well-being into the workplace.
Organisations understand now that that testing economic times are not a signal to stop developing the engagement and well-being of their workforces. Many value the link between employee well-being and organisational performance; they recognise the need for a resilient and motivated workforce, there is now evidence of strong links between well-being, engagement and organisational performance.
Wellness programmes are well on their way to making their mark within corporate organisations. When you think of “wellness” you may well imagine yoga mats, meditation and bean sprouts. However, times are changing, and employee wellness initiatives are gaining respect and popularity within the workplace. Wellness initiatives have come a long way and it seems everyone is doing something to help motivate the workforce into taking responsibility for their own well-being.
Disorders linked to an unhealthy lifestyle – like obesity, heart disease, stress and diabetes continue to grow in prevalence. In the UK over 2.9 million people currently have diabetes, and another half a million people have the condition but don’t even know it according to Diabetes UK. Within their estimated figures they reckon that by 2025 five million people will have diabetes. Most will be Type 2 diabetes because of our ageing population and rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese people. These figures are alarming and confirm that diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today.
An employee’s overall well-being is perceived to be determined primarily by work and can be influenced by workplace interventions.
When staff well-being is undermined, many key factors can impact on the organisations performance:
Well-being is also connected with work-related stress. Understanding the risks to workers in relation to stress and well-being is important.
The stress response can cause physiological changes in a person which prepare the body for the ‘fight or flight’ response. This response can affect:
At one time, this would have been an essential response to physical danger to ensure survival. However, in the workplace today, stress can be caused by so many factors that are not necessarily physically threatening but the physiological response is the same. Unlike ancient man, where it was appropriate to either fight or run from the threat, people today have to deal with situations such as computer problems, irritating co-workers, or facing a difficult meeting with their boss.
These seemingly termed ‘low level’ threats (compared to ancient man facing the sabre-tooth tiger), usually continue over a long period of time and can go unnoticed. However they can still contribute to serious health issues which manifest over the longer term. This can be costly to businesses and organisations in terms of absenteeism and ‘presenteesim’, staff turnover and general performance.
There is growing evidence that traditional methods of managing stress within organisations are not always effective and this can prove costly to employers in terms of mental ill-health at work.
Promoting wellbeing can create a positive work culture.
A positive work culture gives a clear vision and purpose where staff are aware of their individual contribution. This enables staff to become engaged and involved with the aims and success of the organisation. It helps staff to support each other and feel valued, this tends to generate and maintain an atmosphere of confidence.
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing