Corporate wellness: How to take the leap from ‘must-do’ to ‘nailing it’

Wexer Blog

9 November 2022

As founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington has long been a thought leader and trailblazer, and a recent Quartz article served to remind us of exactly this fact. Because it was way back in 2016 that Huffington created Thrive Global – a company that, as the home page of its website boldly states, is “on a mission to end the burnout epidemic”.

Over recent years, corporate wellness has worked its way into the mainstream, with more and more employers recognising the connection between wellbeing and performance, as well as the wisdom in Thrive Global’s bid to “debunk the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success”.

Indeed, in a recent Deloitte survey, 95% of executives agreed they should be responsible for employee wellbeing, while 83 per cent said they would increase their responsibility to it over the next two years.

Yet increase it they must, because there remains a significant gap between appreciation in principle of the value of employee wellbeing versus acting to ensure wellbeing is embedded at the heart of a business.

 

An unmet need

The same Deloitte report found that around one in three employees and executives are constantly struggling with fatigue and poor mental health. That 57% of employees and 69%of executives are seriously considering quitting for a more supportive job. That on average 72% would be more likely to stay with their company if it better supported their wellbeing. And that 68% of employees and 81% of the C-suite see improving their wellbeing as more important than advancing their career.

Yet in spite of all this, obstacles still stand in the way of doing things that would help – taking micro-breaks during the day, finishing work at a reasonable hour, taking a proper lunch break and getting good quality sleep, for example. The most commonly quoted issues: having a heavy workload or stressful job (30 per cent) and/or not having enough time because of long working hours (27%).

It doesn’t help that C-suite executives consistently underestimate how much employees are actually struggling with their wellbeing, or that – while 91% of executives believe their employees look positively on their company’s wellbeing efforts – in fact only 56% of employees believe their employer cares around their wellbeing.

Companies must tune in far better to their workforces’ needs, then act on them.

And it really is in everyone’s best interests. Even as long ago as 2016 – before issues were compounded by the pandemic and the challenges of hybrid working – a study by Global Corporate Challenge found that employees may miss an average of four days annually, but that they’re unproductive for almost 58 days a year. This presenteeism was reported to cost businesses 10 times more than absenteeism.

As Huffington explains: “Employee wellbeing and mental health improve business metrics like retention, attrition, productivity and healthcare costs.”

So, where do you start?

The 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report by Wellable Labs highlights some interesting shifts in focus among organisations already striving to deliver employee wellness.

  • On-demand fitness is hot, appreciated for its flexibility and affordability, and is seeing a scaling up of investment
  • On-site classes and reimbursement of gym membership are being dialled back
  • Mental health is a top priority and an area where more resource is being added, including meditation, mindfulness and stress management
  • Companies appreciate the importance of proper sleep, but have yet to find the resources they need to support their employees in this way

It almost reads like a who’s who of the Wexer offering, with our Mobile ecosystem putting world-class wellness content – covering all of these areas and more – in people’s hands wherever and whenever they need it, through any connected device.

Because it’s all very well encouraging micro-breaks and proper lunch hours, but you do also need to hand your employees the tools to turn these into wellness breaks.

That might be as simple as easing and re-mobilising their bodies after sitting at a desk all day. It might be achieving a moment of calm during their commute, re-energising during their lunch hour by getting their heart pumping, or winding down at the end of a busy day.

Whatever they need, they’ll find it in our ever-growing, market-leading wellness library. We have a huge collection of mind-body and meditation classes. We have relaxation sessions and guided stretching. We’ve partnered with Sweat Factor to offer its fantastic Office Fit series, as well as Self-Care by Sweat Factor. Mind123 takes a holistic, educational approach to all facets and contributors to wellbeing. And we even plug the gap identified by Wellable Labs, providing content around sleep in the shape of Sweat Factor’s Sleep Stories.

And that’s without touching on the vast library of health and fitness content – from cardio and strength to dance, cycling, HIIT and far, far more besides – to get those endorphins flowing, stress released and mental focus regained.

Wexer is here to help you create a first-class employee wellness programme.

 

Read more here or get in touch at info@wexer.com

AuthorSam Aldred

APAC Head of Business Development