How often do you think about the day-to-day health of your employees? Usually when do sit down to think employee health, we often think of the big issues: mental health, critical illness, and onsite safety procedures.
While these are important areas, paying attention to the everyday health challenges your employees face can also substantially boost your organization as well. Healthier workers are simply more productive on a daily basis.
Recent research shows that the relationship between employee health and productivity is something HR leaders should be examining more closely on an annual basis.
Better Employee Health = Improved Productivity
93 percent of employers believe in a direct link between a healthy workforce and high productivity. And they’re right.
A recent study found employees who participated in an employer-sponsored health program increased their productivity by about 4 percent on average. If you look closer at the relationship between health and productivity, three main points emerge:
1. Absentee rates go down by 27 percent for employees who eat healthy and exercise. They also produce up to 25 percent higher job performance results.
2. Employees who have difficulty finding time to exercise are 96 percent more likely to be less productive than active employees. Those with unhealthy diets are 66 percent more likely to be unproductive, and this rises to 93 percent when they “rarely eat fruits, vegetables and other low-fat foods at work”.
3. Burnout and mental health problems like depression, are less likely to occur among employees who exercise. In fact, those who worked out for four hours each week were half as likely to experience burnout and depression.
These are compelling stats. They also indicate that organizations who are slow to adopt employee wellness programs could get left behind.
Great Health Benefits Improve Employee Engagement
Nearly 90 percent of employers believe that employee engagement, which directly impacts productivity, is impacted the most by employee wellbeing. It’s no surprise then that 75 percent of organizations say that their wellness program is a vital component of their employee value proposition.
Employees also seem to agree. Employees who perceive that their employer cares about their health and wellbeing are more engaged. More than three quarters of executive leaders believe that in this way employee wellbeing positively impacts productivity.
Engagement matters. Highly engaged workers are 38 percent more likely to display above-average productivity, and companies with engaged employees outperform those with a poorly engaged workforce by over 200 percent.
All of this to say that employers who put in the effort to examine their health benefits plans, and then step up their involvement in helping their teams prioritize and manage employee health will reap tremendous productivity rewards.
Want to learn more about implementing an employee wellness program? Try watching this helpful webinar on How to Create a Culture of Health and Well-Being.