Liza Andersin: Why employee wellness should be a priority


Employee wellness should be a core focus for any employee management strategy. In the age of flexible and ever-changing employment options, it is becoming ever more apparent that organisations need to demonstrate a point of difference, and not just via a pay packet.

Unfortunately, many businesses approach employee wellness from a reactive position, only focusing on the health of staff once it is evident they are not coping well in their role or have a medical concern, recognising that employees who feel stressed or unwell will have increased absenteeism and a significant reduction in productivity.

More employers, however, should focus on the happiness of their people. There is a very strong correlation between staff who are content and those who feel like they have a good work-life balance; this can have a significant impact on overall health and wellbeing. This reason alone should demonstrate the win-win situation that investing in employee wellness creates.

Workplace culture sets the tone for employees. A supportive environment, in which managers reinforce a sound wellness strategy, can keep employees motivated and engaged. Wellness and incentive programmes can be used to drive and reinforce healthy behaviours, bringing benefits to the employer, the employee and the community.

Employers may utilise a wide range of wellness initiatives, such as smoking cessation programmes, flu shots, health fairs, gym memberships, newsletters and more. While some businesses have instituted very comprehensive wellness programmes, others have achieved savings or increased productivity with just a few simple activities that promote healthy behaviours.

What is most important is to understand that committing to wellness promotion across the organisation affirms to employees that their employer values them outside of the workplace, ultimately boosting morale and wellness.

Liza Andersin is HR director at corporate training and further education search engine