Healthy, Wealthy and Wise – The ultimate guide to employee retention without offering a raise

Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of any business. Getting your employees to stick around not only reduces the costs associated with hiring and training new workers, it does wonders for workplace morale. The most obvious way to improve your retention rates is to simply offer your employees more money, but an extensive corporate health and wellness program is a cheap, effective, and easy-to-implement alternative.

The benefit of a corporate wellness program speaks volumes. Research has shown that companies who implement an effective program experience a considerable reduction in absenteeism and turnover rate. These programs can help keep your workers doing what they do best, whilst providing you with a positive return on investment and improving your overall workplace morale. Workplace physiotherapy and office ergonomic assessments are just some of the things you can do to keep your workforce healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Workplace Wellness

A study performed by corporate giant Johnson and Johnson indicated that health and wellness programs saved the organisation an estimated $250 million on health care costs between 2002 and 2008. What exactly does health and wellness in the workplace mean? What is a corporate wellness program anyway? First of all, there is no “one size fits all” solutions for corporate wellness. Corporate wellness programs look very different depending on the type of organization and industry you operate within. Take a large logistics firm for example, this type of organisation would likely focus on injury prevention with the help of a dedicated onsite physiotherapist, while an accounting firm may focus on team-based fitness challenges, yoga classes, or the ergonomic setup of their workplace.

Choosing the right program for your business is just as important as the program itself. A poorly-thought out wellness program is likely to fall flat and have limited impact on the long term health of your workforce, while a tailored program that is developed and designed by to suit your specific health needs of your workforce, is likely to have a lasting impact on the overall health and wellness of your organisation.

Now you could be forgiven for thinking that mental health falls outside of the realm of corporate wellness, but it really shouldn’t. 45% of Australians will experience a mental health or substance-use disorder in their lifetime. A recent study conducted by PWC estimates that every dollar spent on keeping your workplace mentally healthy, through measures such as onsite psychiatrists and mental health education programs, will create a return on investment of $2.30. Just as being healthy entails both physical and mental health, so do corporate wellness programs.

Physiotherapy Solutions and Ergonomic Assessments

With all of these fantastic, beneficial options available for workplace wellness, where should your organisation start? The first step is to understand the health risks that are present within your workplace. This ensures that your program can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your employees. Every business is different and therefore, requires a tailor-made solution.

Let’s say you work in a blue collar industry where your employees are constantly performing manual labour. Having a physiotherapist available to your employees should they be injured is a great place to start, but keep in mind that this is a reactive measure. A good wellness program for this type of business would be having an onsite physiotherapist go out and observe the way that your employees work, identifying and addressing any potential health risks before they become an issue. The benefits of physiotherapy in Australian workplaces extends much further than just injury prevention; keeping your workers physically fit and healthy helps keep other adverse health issues, like cardio-respiratory problems, at bay.

Meanwhile, if your business is focused around white collar office workers, improving your office ergonomics is one of the most proactive ways to keep your workforce healthy. Poor work site ergonomics lead to fatigued, frustrated and injured workers, whilst good ergonomics leads to healthy, happy and productive workers. Improving ergonomic design should start with an ergonomic assessment of your workplace. Are there any instances where your employees are forced into a poor posture? Are any employees performing a strenuous task for long periods of time? Is there any way to improve on the techniques your employees are utilising? These are the questions you should be asking of your workplace environment.

Employee Retention

All workplace wellness programs end up coming back to just one thing: employee retention. Educating and enabling the workforce to make better decisions for their health and providing them with the resources and motivation to do so, can work wonders for your entire operation. Offering your employees additional perks like flextime and the option of working from home, will also help with that all-important retention rate, without damaging your bottom line.

Workplace wellness can also have benefits when your company is struggling. Giving your employees voluntarily reduced hours has been shown to be a fantastic wellness technique that avoids the demoralising effect of redundancies in times of economic downturn.

You can even start planning for employee retention and workplace wellness during the hiring process. Looking for employees that have a healthy mindset, who show signs of self-improvement, personal growth and a willingness to change for the better, can help you build a healthier, happier workforce.