Wellbeing Weekly

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The Wellbeing and Productivity Link

2 Minute Read


Corporate wellness programs started in the mid-1970s and continue to grow. What is behind the growth? Wellness programs work!  

Wellness programs are a crucial element in a company’s business plan. In highly competitive labor markets, wellness programs can be a point of difference and help attract and retain top talent.  

Over the past 50 years, the evolution of wellbeing programs has been driven by new approaches, innovations and technology. More employers recognize the benefits of wellness programs including increased retention, work attendance, performance and engagement. Additionally, employee needs have risen and focus more on elements such as job satisfaction, and the desire to feel valued and invested in by employers.  

Where do executives see the wellness program productivity gains that work their way on to the P&L? 

  1. Increased work attendance: healthier employees tend to take fewer sick days. According to Zippia, wellness programs can reduce absenteeism by nearly 20%. Even with only a 10% reduction in absenteeism spread across the workforce, the impact quickly adds up. CEOWORLD magazine cited a study by Harvard Business Review that found on average, companies experience an ROI of between $1.50 and $3 for every $1 they spend on wellness programs.  

  2. Improved productivity: employees who feel mentally, emotionally and physically healthy work more days per year and are more engaged, resulting in higher production rates and significant cost savings for businesses. Success Magazine cited a report that revealed companies with wellness programs saw a 66% productivity increase overall.   

  3. Less presenteeism: presenteeism is defined as workers who are physically present in the workplace and are operating at suboptimal levels. The source of presenteeism could be illness, unforeseen life events, or even low morale and loyalty. Workers with consistent presenteeism typically result in turnover. A study published by Georgia College & State University showed 77% of lost productivity came from presenteeism and a 6% increase in performance by those who participated in the wellness program. Improved retention reduces the cost of unwanted turnover.  

Companies investing in employee wellbeing see both productivity and financial returns. Keeping employees healthy creates a healthy business.   

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