Workplace and Employee Wellness
One’s wellness is made up of multiple dimensions, with the key ones being emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, occupational, and financial dimensions. In many cases, an employee who is having difficulties in one dimension (e.g. social) could also experience negative effects in other dimensions (e.g. physical and emotional), resulting in them facing more challenges and being less able to function or perform optimally.
The 2018 data from Statistics Canada shows that the average number of days absent per full-time employee annually is 10 days, costing Canadian employers over $16 billion dollars (2012 figure) per year. There is indication that lost productivity from presenteeism – time spent at the workplace while not productively engaged in work due to illness or other medical conditions – is 7.5 times greater, thus possibly costing Canadian businesses an estimated $124 billion per year. A 2014 study by Morneau Shepell involving over 1000 employees across different industries found that over 80% of respondents have gone into work when they were not able to perform as well as they would have liked.
Some key drivers of absenteeism and presenteeism appear physical sickness, stress and anxiety, depression, and issues related to one’s work, work environment, co-workers, or managers. A 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) research report indicates that depression and anxiety is estimated to have cost the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Alarmingly, a 2017 Sun Life Financial’s national survey on mental health found that while nearly half of all Canadians (49%) have experienced a mental health issue that have impacted their lives, only 28% of working Canadians living with a mental health issue have spoken to their employer about it.
Insight encourages all employers to take a holistic approach to caring for employees’ multiple dimensions of wellness as they are inter-related and collectively impact the employees’ ability to cope with life stressors, remain productive, and realize their potential. With appropriate intervention and effective support, not only can employees’ wellness and productivity be directly enhanced, there can also be significant return on investment:
- A study led by World Health Organization estimated that for every USD $1 put into scaled up intervention and support for common mental issues, there is a return of USD $4 in improved health and productivity. Further research found that employees who receive direct intervention are 40% more likely to recover from depression.
- A critical meta-analysis of the literature completed by Health Affairs concluded that “medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on [appropriate] wellness programs and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.” The Citibank Health Management Program reported an estimated savings of $4.50 in medical expenditures per dollar spent on medical prevention programs.
- A 2014 survey by Virgin Pulse involving 361 organizations and 3,822 employees reported that 88% of employees describe “access to health and wellness programs as an important factor for defining an employer of choice.”
A wellness initiative that may be appropriate and effective for one organization, one work group or one wellness dimension may not be so for another. We can help you assess, identify, and develop initiatives that address the specific needs of your organization as well as attend to different dimensions of wellness that are impacting your employees’ overall well-being and productivity.
Associates that can help:
Harassment and Bullying, Leadership Development, Psychological Safety, Work Relationships, Workplace Investigations, Workplace Violence
Critical Incident Response, Grief and Loss, Harassment and Abuse, Leadership Development, Not-for-profit Management, Psychological Safety, Small Business Management, Work Performance
Critical Incident Response, Grief and Loss, Harassment and Abuse, Mental health issues, PTSD, Psychological Safety, Work Relationships, Workplace Wellness