Employee wellness is vital for company growth and the prosperity of business. Where does your company stand on the health of your employees? 

Workplace wellness programs aren’t new to the business world, with upwards of 85% of companies with more than 1,000 employees having an employee wellness program. 

But these statistics don’t tell the full story, because even within companies that have employee wellness programs, only 60% of the workforce reports being aware of their wellness programs, and a mere 40% of the employees who are aware of these programs report utilizing their services and resources. 

Having an employee wellness program sounds great in theory, but are they worth it? It depends on whom you ask. 

Too Many Focus On Physical Well Being

As Arnold Schwarzenegger stated, “The body always follows the mind,” which is where many corporate wellness programs go awry. 

Separating the body from the mind is a dated way of thinking and can be traced back to the 17th Century, with Rene Descartes being responsible for creating this Cartesian model of dualism. While one cannot exist without the other, each system’s views are competitive in nature and are practically married in tandem with little to no room for existence without one or the other. 

Those who utilize these separate systems to create health and wellness programs create more problems because most wellness programs focus on an individual’s physical wellbeing, not the mental well being. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion in lost workplace productivity. Finding solutions to mental health problems alone could yield significant changes in employee morale and productivity, even without considering how those changes would cause a ripple effect across social networks and communities across the globe, secondarily affecting millions more through enhanced relationships and interactions. 

The solution? Implementing mental health training and educational programs (while also focusing on physical health and well being), which can save corporate companies millions of dollars every year. The WHO estimates a near 400% ROI on these programs via improved health and employee productivity when properly implemented and followed! 

Employee Wellness Programs Must Have Vertical Integration to Actually Work

While most are familiar with vertical integration through job promotions and company-wide changes in the workforce, very few are actually implementing similar organizational ladders via their wellness programs. 

According to Gallup, there is a distinct correlation between the general wellbeing of managers and their direct reports. This impact can significantly influence productivity and overall work fulfillment via a two-way street, compounding like interest to yield even greater results over time. Having this mutual influence on the well being of team members appears to play a significant role in productivity and work fulfillment, with direct reports of supervisors with a high level of well being having a 15% chance to be thriving six months later compared to their peers at the same levels within the company. 

These statistics are vital for a company’s success, as most employees will spend a quarter to third of their lifetime at work or doing work-related tasks. With more than 63% of managers stating they would like to receive additional training on managing employees dealing with depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders, it is evident that there is work to be done in the arena of integrated health and wellness program implementation. 

Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s easy to say that corporate health and wellness programs aren’t going away anytime soon, as COVID-19 has exposed significant weaknesses in our country’s healthcare system and overall health in general. 

We don’t need more information; We need more education and personal transformation, which can help individuals get out of pain, improve their quality of life, and find fulfillment in their careers. 

Although this won’t happen overnight, it can play a significant role in the growth and development of a workforce that can drastically change the trajectory of a company’s expansion and development over time. 

Now is the perfect time to audit your company’s health and wellness program to ensure the highest levels of integration and adoption, for the benefit of your employees and the bottom dollar of your business.