Employee wellness boosts employee engagement, and employee engagement boosts employee wellness. Too often managers either ignore the abundance of research supporting the benefits of employee wellness and employee engagement or think about these two elements of business success as separate initiatives.
First, a couple of quick examples of how these two human capital investments are related: According to a Gallup study that analyzed unhealthy days over a six month period, workgroups with high employee engagement had 8% fewer unhealthy days than the average, low well-being scores notwithstanding. However, workgroups that were engaged and thriving in their wellbeing had 38% fewer unhealthy days, illustrating the added benefit of a wellbeing focus. Employee engagement by itself improves employee health and is supercharged with the addition of a wellness focus. Also, healthy employees are happier (20% happier than average to be exact), and happier employees are better workers and are less likely to turnover.
It is imperative for employers to recognize that wellness and employee engagement go together, and in order for organizations to address the employee engagement epidemic, they must embrace wellness as a critical component of their engagement strategy. By doing so, they will supercharge their employees and extract meaningful returns on investments, including lower medical costs, turnover, and sick days and higher productivity, employee satisfaction, and business success.
In addition to the study linking employee wellness and employee engagement, Gallup also conducted a study of the impact on customers that “workgroups with high engagement and high wellbeing” have. At a professional services company, Gallup discovered that customers who interacted with these workgroups were:
- 17% more likely to say that the company had a significant impact on their performance
- 24% more likely to say the company had resolved their problems
- 20% more likely to say the company delivered on its promises
- 24% more likely to perceive that the company was committed to accuracy and quality
- 21% more likely to say the company shared knowledge with them
Statistics like these highlight what most companies already know – their most important asset are their employees. Although more and more companies are actively seeking to improve employee engagement, many of these companies are not embracing wellness as part of their strategy. In order to achieve business success through lower costs and satisfied customers, leading employers will need to embrace a more comprehensive, multi-faceted employee engagement strategy that includes wellness.