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Corporate wellness - Why it is critical for your 2018 HR strategy
The topic of corporate wellness is one which seems to be at the forefront of many HR strategies for 2018. Mental health has never been more openly discussed as companies look at how it impacts businesses from a people performance perspective. Work can be often be stressful and it is not easy to find the balance between life and work.
When we, as employees, feel too much stress at the office, it can easily cloud our judgement and affect our overall performance. So as organisations, it is critical that we address this stress, to ensure it is not the reason we have unhappy, unproductive people who are likely to leave our business.
Wellness often seems like an HR issue separate from the main core of doing business, when in fact, it’s deeply integrated into employee performance – and corporate wellness (or a lack thereof) can have a direct impact on the bottom line of your business.
Let’s look at corporate wellness from two business perspectives:
1. The cost of attrition
The cost of high employee attrition can be truly staggering when you calculate the overall investment in sourcing, attracting, hiring and then training new employees. Of course, there will always be employee attrition due to perhaps a job mismatch, but what about those who fit in great with the company, are hard workers and become star performers who you don’t need or want to lose?
If you look deeper into this question, there is a very common theme which always seems to surface. The boss.
In a survey of 1000 American Executives by Michelle McQuaid, a world leader in positive psychology interventions in the workplace, found a "whopping" 65 percent say a better boss would make them happier than a raise. So our focus surely should be on training our leaders better at being leaders, not just being a boss.
There are some amazing examples of people like Richard Branson who is the poster boy of successful leadership. “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
His 'people come first' culture means he can retain the top talent he has already managed to attract. Meaning his costs of hiring replacements and training new people is lower than a high turnover culture. This makes a positive impact to bottom line costs.
2. Attracting the right talent for the future
There is endless proof of causality of culture and performance from Queen's University Centre for Business Venturing. Using data over a ten-year period of employee engagement surveys and company results, it found the following for organisations that possessed an engaged culture:
• 65% greater share-price increase
• 26% less employee turnover
• 20% less absenteeism
• 15% greater employee productivity
• 30% greater customer satisfaction levels.
To create a team of positive ‘can-do’ employees, you must first provide a positive environment and philosophy. One way of doing this is addressing issues head on, rather than burying problems and hoping they will resolve themselves. The reality is people may join a company for a salary, perhaps the job opportunity, but they will often stay for their leader. This should therefore be a focus, train those who make the biggest impact on the turnover in our businesses.
So to conclude, this is merely a tiny scratch on the surface of Corporate Wellness and why companies are focusing so heavily on it for 2018. Whatever you do, do not ignore what is evident and do not believe it is a secondary problem. Your people are your company, invest in them and they will invest in you.