With the advent of the 21st century, rapidly shifting demographic trends, technological advances, and economic globalisation have brought about increased expansion opportunities for business organisations worldwide. This has led to increased demands for a highly skilled workforce that can support greater productivity.
As a result, today’s workforce is confronted with a host of new challenges. Aside from dealing with daily stressors such as long commutes and finding the time and energy to care for young children and ailing parents, the modern workforce has to contend with new technologies which blur the boundary between home and work.
At a macro level, there may be additional concerns about global economic factors that potentially impact job security. For many individuals, negotiating these unfamiliar and sometimes competing demands can be a source of great stress.
Stress exerts huge tolls on quality of life both inside and outside the workplace. Indeed, physical, mental health issues and substance abuse problems are major concerns for employers, and continue to be leading causes of illness and lost work productivity in organisations worldwide. Whilst the majority of these stressors are either preventable or modifiable, few employers have found successful strategies to reduce the negative effects of chronic stressors.
This gap can be filled by Purpose Partners. Indeed, when utilised as a first-line response to providing prevention, triage, and short-term problem-resolution services within an organisation, the programmes can substantially contribute to workplace wellness and productivity.
There is a wealth of research findings highlighting the benefits of such employee wellness programmes. For instance, recent studies have shown that having happy, healthy, and engaged employees is good for a company’s bottom line. A recent Gallup study reports that the annual per-person cost of lost productivity due to sick days among the least happy and least engaged workers is upward of USD28,000. In contrast, the sick-day lost-productivity cost among the happiest and most engaged workers: USD $840 a year.
Another study demonstrated that psychologically healthy employees work harder and “smarter” on the job – they are more focused on work activities and less likely to waste time on non-productive activities. Last but not least, employees who are psychologically well and happy are more likely to stay with their current organization.
The benefits of psychologically healthy employees are not just limited to workplace productivity and job performance. According to the Gallup study, employees who indicated that they liked their jobs were twice as likely to be thriving in their lives overall. They reported strong relationships, effective money management, good health and engagement in their communities, relative to disengaged and unhappy employees.
In addition, disengaged and unhappy workers reported higher levels of stress and were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression. They were also at greater risk for heart disease and other medical problems.
In summary, these employee wellness programmes play a critical role in identifying and addressing individual and organisational risk factors which may impact upon workplace performance.
This can lead to a multitude of positive outcomes, including:
- Reduced employee absenteeism and unplanned absences
- Improved workplace morale and employee motivation
- Enhanced work-life balance
- Increased job performance and productivity
- More effective management of HR issues by line managers
- More effective mitigation of business risks and lower business costs
- Better employee retention