Many Australian organisations are advocating workplace holistic health programs for improved employee health and wellbeing. Clearly there are individual benefits for employees. However, are there benefits to organisations?
Does Holistic Health Improve Workplace Productivity?
After reviewing a number of articles and studies on workplace holistic health programs, the following benefits to the organisation were found:
- improved productivity
- improved morale
- decreased absenteeism
- decreased presenteeism (the practice of coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc., often resulting in reduced productivity – dictionary.com)
Below are summaries from some of the articles and studies reviewed that focused on workplace holistic health programs:
- “Findings suggest that when an employee engages with a health coach, health advocate, or nurse and makes improvements in health or reductions in health risks, he or she is likely to become more productive.” Improving Employee Productivity Through Improved Health
- A Great Place to Work reviewed the impact of Workplace Wellness Programs and indicated that “A strong workplace wellness program can drive employee engagement”. They also state the following additional benefits:
- “Improved Physical and Psychological Health
- Decreased Illness
- Decreased Absence
- Improved Productivity / Decreased Presenteeism
- Reduction in Occupational Injury / WorkCover Claims
- When these and other factors are considered, the average Cost: Benefit ratio for Workplace Health Programs exceeds 3.5:1″
- An Australian study considered the combined effects of self-rated work performance and absenteeism data, they found that the healthiest employees are almost three times more effective than the least healthy. Where the healthiest employees worked approximately 143 effective hours per month, the least healthy worked only 49 effective hours – How the best companies approach wellbeing
- “The study suggests that firms can increase operational productivity through socially responsible health policies that improve both workers’ wellness and economic value, and provides a template for future large-scale studies of health and productivity.” – The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity
- “The study provides a first indication of the potential benefits of health promotion programming to Australian employees in improving health and to the corporation in minimizing health-related productivity loss” – The association of two productivity measures with health risks and medical conditions in an Australian employee population.
- “Workplace health and wellness programs need to be part of the overall company strategy for a healthy workplace” – Introduce a holistic approach to workplace wellbeing