The “Corporate Wellness” concept has been evolving since the ’80s when employers have recognised that not only a healthy worker retains a healthy work environment, but massively cut the health insurance costs and sick leave pay.
Nowadays, wellness at work has evolved so far that, if you are a corporate company that does not offer wellness benefits to your employers, you are left behind and risk having unsustainable business.
Work benefits such as monthly massages, gym passes or other health-related work benefits are playing a huge role for those seeking job, as well as those are established in a company. Wellness benefits have become a “hook phrase” for any modern business, acting both- to attract a new employee and retain old ones.
Statistics show that 99% of employees with both high well-being and organizational support would recommend their employer as “a great place to work.”
98% of employees with both higher well-being and a higher perception that their company supports their well-being say they want to be working at the same company in one year.
88% of employees with higher well-being are engaged at work, compared with 50% of employees with lower well-being.
These numbers are staggering, proving that wellness services benefit the business as a whole.
Wellness at work not only serves productivity and welfare but also delivers an emotional message.
Through my experience working as a massage and skin therapist for various companies, I can observe an increase in loyalty between the employer and employee. There is a huge difference in working hard and having a stressful job with no benefits and having a stressful job, where the employer has given an employee an hour or two a month worth massage, or yoga session. Any employee, no matter how stressed and overworked, will feel like she/he has been taken care of and most likely to retain in the business no matter how stressful it is. It is mainly down to the psychology of being valued, appreciated and looked after.
Not only Corporate Wellness is on the rise, but Wellness Sector Industry by itself has been steadily growing. With the ongoing research in corporate wellness sector, the demand of the new professional positions within the industry has also been steadily increased.
Nowadays, there are numbers of Corporate Wellness Consulting Agencies, Corporate Wellness Magazines, Annual Corporate Wellness Conferences, Corporate Wellness Couches and even Corporate Wellness Degrees and Institutes. The wellness movement cannot be ignored. What wellness industry does as a whole is promoting, improving and managing the nations' wellbeing by research and adaptation of various programs.
Wellness, that was once associated with physical health - like body weight, aerobics and other sports, involves so much more today. Today, wellness takes a 360 degrees approach to wellbeing. Mental health, which once had an unspoken stigma, now is talked about more openly. Therefore, wellness programs not only integrate physical health, but mental and financial wellbeing. Today, wellbeing has slightly different connotations- a more holistic approach, the one that covers all areas and angles of one’s health.
Today, thanks to all the research, workplace wellbeing have become one of the core themes for many successful businesses with a focus on total wellbeing.
While aerobics and stretching exercises was a trend of the ’90s, today the more popular activities would be yoga, massage, circuit training and mindfulness workshops and meditation. As it shows, the focus is now leaning towards mind-body connection.
With the new generation of millennials, employees have become more aware of the importance of work/life balance and won’t be sold into the workplace, where the employer does not offer any of the above.
An annual “wellness day” or “wellness week” just won’t "do the trick" any longer. Instead, it’s the consistency that brings business sustainability together. In a speedy, high-pressure job, a worker craves a sense of purpose, belonging and being seen as a valuable member of staff.
This increased understanding of workplace benefits may have put extra pressure on employers, increasing the costs on wellness services and challenging competitiveness, but have also solved many problems in the long run. As mentioned above- business growth, productivity, healthier work environment, a higher advantage of employment and retention and last but not least, reduced costs on health insurances and sick leaves. The wellbeing of the employees is a profitable investment.
And remember, prevention costs less than cure!