what is employee wellbeing and how does it benefit the organisation?

The term ‘well’ can refer to many different aspects of a person, from the emotional and physical wellness, to the overall feeling of engagement and happiness that comes from working in a role that is fulfilling. Employees who have emotional and physical health are more committed to their jobs, and there is a clear connection between a supportive workplace, and a happy, engaged employee.

Workplace Health Association Australia (WHAA) believes that workplace health is now a more holistic and integrative environment that better reflects the multiple determinants of employee health in today’s workplace. In fact, workplaces that do not promote health and wellness are four times more likely to lose talent in the next 12 months, according to WHAA.

Motivated, qualified, and healthy employees are essential for any organisation’s future economic prosperity, and this is demonstrated with the growing demand for better work-life policies, flexible working practices, green buildings, and on-site amenities such as gym and child care facilities. With Australians spending approximately one third of their adult life at work, the workplace plays a crucial role in the mental, physical, economic and social wellbeing of workers.

Workplace health is a shared responsibility. While employers may offer health programs and initiatives, experience shows that employees who contribute financially for select initiatives (e.g. gym membership) take more ownership of their individual wellbeing, and therefore are more likely to continue with that particular health program.  

For employers, the benefits of participating in workplace health programs include:

  • improved productivity
  • increased employee engagement
  • reduced sickness-related absenteeism
  • reduced workplace injury and workers compensation costs
  • improved staff morale
  • improved corporate image.

Strong evidence exists for the effectiveness of workplace health programs and policies. It is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ option for organisations looking to improve employee morale and engagement, improve overall safety, and increase productivity in an ever-competitive market.  

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