The Cost of Not Investing in Employee Well-being

The bedrock of good business rests on smart investments. Measuring the return on physical assets is easy, but what if you’ve overlooked one of the most important investments you can make, the well-being of your people. WorkScore counts the cost of not investing in employee well-bring out and guides you on how you can invest in workplace well-being to reap the rewards.

When considering whether to invest in a workplace well-being program the first question you may ask is “What’s the dollar return on my investment?” With our recent research revealing that one third of employees rate work as having a significantly negative impact on their wellbeing, the question that should be asked is “what’s the cost of not investing in workplace well-being?”

A recent Gallup survey revealed that 44% of employees reported feelings of burnout at work and our recent research of over 11,000 Australian employees revealed 1 in 3 believes work is having a negative impact on their well-being.

In addition, close to 80% of workers report that they frequently experience stress at work, and one third rate work life balance as an issue. So, it comes as no surprise that 40% of employees are not getting the recommended amounts of sleep or that 65% of employees rate other people’s well-being as a higher priority than their own!

The costs of these issues to your business is enormous:

However, they are avoidable. Making an investment into workplace well-being will increase the well-being of your people and reduce the costs associated with poor health.

How to make smart investments in workplace well-being

At WorkScore, we know that healthy employees are more productive and engaged. So, we’re helping you to make a good investment in the wellbeing of your workers with these three steps:

1. Understand the major well-being issues affecting workers

When we analysed the WorkScore's of more than 11,000 employees, we discovered the impact of negative work experiences on the rates of anxiety, depression and happiness at work.

43% of respondents rated that they do not get regular recognition and 25% rated as having low engagement levels at work – these employees also had higher rates of anxiety, depression and more mental health issues by an average 15% than those who rated as highly engaged.

Employers must invest in solutions against these negative workplace experiences:

  • Recognise your employees: employees with a high sense of achievement are 27% happier at work, 20% less depressed and are 14% less likely to be affected by mental health conditions.
  • Reduce work stress: Our findings tell us that a whopping 78% of employees experience stress almost every day at work. It’s not a problem to be ignored. Be ready to offer solutions such as flexible work, mental health days or mindfulness sessions.
  • Require workers to switch-off: Long work hours impact employees’ sleep quality and their ability to switch off from work. In fact, among workers who sleep less than six hours per night, 30% will work an extra nine or more hours per week. Encourage workers to switch off from work, take regular breaks during the day and get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
 

2. Get familiar with the well-being issues in your industry

Each sector Is unique in its work type and environment which leads to unique well-being challenges. To make a good investment, you need to understand these challenges and the needs of your employees. Some examples are:

  • High-stress for younger retail workers: Employees under 35 years make up 90% of the retail workforce. It’s alarming that 60% experience stress most days at work and nearly half of all retail workers we surveyed fell regularly anxious. If your business in the retail sector, it’s time to address the issue of excessive stress at work.
  • Low levels of fitness for workers in education: Among the six industries we surveyed, education workers rated the lowest when it comes to fitness. This could be because they take fewer lunch breaks, work more extra hours per week and a staggering 60% find it difficult to switch off from work. Education sector leaders must look at improving the fitness of their workers and allowing them time to look after their wellness.
  • Poor mental health for healthcare workers: Despite having the best ratings when it comes to their diet, sleep and physical activities, healthcare workers still need support when it comes to their mental wellbeing. Among healthcare workers we surveyed, 53% reported feeling stressed at work frequently and close to 40% reported feeling anxious on top of 25% who stated they felt depressed.

3. Identify where your investment will make the biggest impact

The most effective way to reap the rewards of a healthy workforce is by creating a solid plan. The first step to this to use a structured process to identify what the most significant well-being issues are for your organisation and how to solve them.

Before rolling out a well-being program, make sure you set the right foundation by taking these three steps:

  • Evaluate the current state: Gather all available data that will give you an indication of the state of your employees' Look at rates of sick leave, other leave and voluntary turnover.
  • Analyse and identify gaps: The metrics mentioned above give a sense of the effects that poor well-being has on your workforce. It’s important also to identify insights on issues that you can address before they become problems such as absenteeism, presenteeism or people deciding to move on. Surveys focused on well-being, such as WorkScore provide you with access to real-time feedback that gives you the agility to respond to issues as they happen.
  • Implement improvements: Once you know what the issues are, you can focus on solutions. These can come in various forms, such as training and education, starting engaging and fun well-being challenges. It helps to get professional help when coming up with these solutions. By working with experts, such as the team at WorkScore, you can ensure well-being solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of your business.

Investing in workplace well-being is not a risky move when you utilise WorkScore.

Our digital workplace well-being program delivers improved health and well-being of employees and reduces unplanned leave.

In a recent case study, we tracked employees over a 6 month period and found that  found that employees who increased their WorkScore by an average of 17 points over also reduced the amount of sick leave taken by an average of 9.5 hours (when compared to the period before using WorkScore),

A case study of the same company showed great well-being improvements over 6 months, including:

  • 25% increase in employees being physically active during work hours
  • 20% rise in concentrations levels at work
  • 30% improvement in employees taking time to go outside at lunchtimes
  • 15% reduction in employees experiencing stress at work

Want to learn more? Contact WorkScore on 1300 972673 or download the full article here: