According to study data from the non-profit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), more than 90% of company leaders believe that boosting wellness may affect employee productivity and performance. Exploring the Value Proposition for Workforce Health, a February 2015 study report, examines how companies view a healthy workforce affecting morale, engagement, and overall company success. The findings are based on a survey conducted by more than 500 business leaders from throughout the United States between May and July 2014, representing a wide range of sectors and company sizes.
There were significant differences in the productivity and performance drivers underlined by executives. The top driver of productivity was having the proper tools to execute one's job, whereas the top driver of performance was employee engagement with their work. When questioned explicitly about the top organisational goals impacted by employee health, business executives most frequently mentioned productivity and performance.
More than just Cost-Cutting
Health was also considered as an investment in human resources or as part of the organization's core organizational strategy by 57% of business leaders. Less than a third perceived health investment as primarily a cost-cutting measure for health care, and even fewer as an expense, 13%. The research notes, "This result is significant because it indicates rising support for a broader value proposition for employee health and wellbeing investment." Jessica Grossmeier, Vice President of research at HERO, believes that companies of all sizes have been expanding their commitment to employee health through workplace health management programmes for some years now. They further added, “While this movement is most commonly connected to a desire to control health care costs, our interactions with employers led us to believe that there was more at play here and that employers were realizing greater, long-term value from good employee health.”
Another important conclusion was that executive leaders are more likely than middle managers to say that health affects performance. Numerous company executives share the sentiment that if the front line managers do not agree with the positive relationship between mental health and performance, or if the working environment is not supportive of healthy behaviours, then companies will fail to see the results and long-term benefits of their bottom line.
Consider the following suggestions and best practices for assisting workers with their mental health and thereby increasing productivity.
- Increase awareness about the importance of mental health: Two of the top reasons given by people who do not utilise their benefits, according to the SilverCloud 2021 Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey Report, are not being aware of what is covered in their mental health benefits and not knowing how to access the benefits. Spend time and effort in informing employees about the mental health benefits that are available and how to obtain them, especially because the procedures to obtain them during the pandemic have altered.
- Provide access to health benefits online: The same report also revealed that, 78% of respondents desired online mental health treatments and support, and 35% wanted access to the same benefits via text and chat instead of online mental health professional services.
- Offer wellness days: Provide off-days to take care of mental health. Companies who have implemented this noticed that productivity and performance increased, which is opposite to popular belief.