Workplace Wellness Programs Increase Employee Morale: It All Comes Full Circle
When you hear people talk about employee wellness programs, you often hear about benefits like better productivity as well as reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs. Upper management oftentimes focuses on these benefits because they are quantifiable, allowing businesses to calculate a ROI to determine if a wellness program is worth their investment. Then somewhere down the long list of benefits you will see something about “boosting employee morale” with no further explanation. Though a less tangible concept and therefore more difficult to measure, employee morale is worth unpacking because it is arguably the single most important by-product of workplace wellness programs.
Employee morale refers to one’s outlook, which is informed by the thoughts and feelings one experiences in the workplace setting. When the majority of employees have positive attitudes about their work environment a company is said to have high morale.
So why don’t human resource teams focus on recruiting only the most positive and resilient people to safeguard company morale from the outset? To put it bluntly, it simply does not work like that. Employers obviously want to recruit people that have a passion for the work that they do and a profound loyalty to their organization, but this level of commitment does not just happen overnight. You don’t start with morale. You build it over time by first showing your employees how much you value them.
As with any relationship, the employer-employee relationship is a two-way street. It is both give and take. When you invest in a wellness program that directly benefits your employees, it is seen as an incredible act of generosity and your employees will want to pay it forward. Employees feel supported and appreciated because you are telling them that their health and well-being matters. In turn, employees are excited to go to work, they get along better with others, and they are more intrinsically motivated to do their best work for you every single day. Not only that, but they are also more physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of doing their best work since you have provided them the space and the support to prioritize themselves and their needs.
Though perhaps more difficult to measure, employee morale can be discerned. Through informal observation you will notice positive changes in people’s attitudes and demeaners at work. And if you are in need of some data points to justify your wellness program spending, surveys and interviews are still great tools for eliciting candid opinions about workplace environment and culture and gauging employee satisfaction.
An employee wellness program is an investment in your people, your company’s greatest asset. When you recognize the value in each and every member of your workforce, they will do everything they can to live up to that value and the results will be astounding. It all comes full circle.
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Meg Alexander is the founder of Our Company Culture, a provider of onsite employee wellness services to businesses across Delaware. OCC also offers virtual lunch and learns and guided meditations to companies outside of the Delaware area. Meg is dedicated to helping her clients build a healthy workplace culture from the ground up. She enjoys surfing and going for walks around her neighborhood and loves to experiment with bold flavors in the kitchen.