As with any business cost or outlay, companies want to see a return on their investment. This includes employee benefits and wellbeing programs. When implementing an employee wellbeing strategy, businesses naturally want to know just how much impact and value these programs will have.
So, how can you measure a return on investment for your wellbeing spend? Well, think of it like this — the money spent on any wellbeing programs is an investment not only in your employees’ health and wellbeing but your business at large. How? Let’s take a closer look.
The Real Cost of Employee Wellbeing
According to one source, job stress is estimated to cost companies in the US more than $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism, and poor performance. With this in mind, your well-being spend will always be far less than the cost of absenteeism.
What’s more, if employees are stressed at work and feel their wellbeing has been affected, they’re unlikely to stay with that employer. And the cost of having to replace an employee? One source shares that to replace an average employee it costs 120–200% of the salary of the position affected. Put in this context, your well-being spend can be seen as a tool in employee retention.
There’s no greater return on investment than having happy, healthy, and engaged employees. After all, wellness programs have been shown to reduce absenteeism, lower employee stress, promote and encourage healthier lifestyles, and help employees achieve a greater sense of work-life balance. Positively or negatively, each of these things affects a company’s bottom line.
Whose Responsibility Is it?
Countless studies over the years have revealed that work is the most significant source of stress for most people. Then along came covid-19 and stress reached new heights, impacting the wellbeing of millions of people across the world.
Last year, we asked 58,000 employees throughout Europe what the biggest causes of stress are in their everyday. Respondents in the UK, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden all named work as their most significant source of stress, followed by work-life balance and health.
Work-life balance, of course, plays a crucial part in our overall well-being. But whose responsibility is it to ensure that employees maintain a good work-life balance? Our study reveals that 63% of employees in Sweden, 61% in the UK, 60% in Denmark, 56% in France, 55% in the Netherlands, and 51% in Germany say they strongly believe it is the employer’s responsibility.
But do employees believe their employers are doing enough to help them achieve a good work-life balance? Not quite. In fact, 32% of respondents in Germany, 29% in France, 23% in the UK, 20% in Denmark and Sweden, and 12% in the Netherlands say they strongly disagree that their employer is doing enough.
Evaluating Your Investment
In today’s war for talent, companies everywhere would be wise to review their benefits and wellbeing programs to make sure that employees are making full use of them.
As an exercise, it can be helpful to assess how many of your employees have enrolled in a particular wellbeing benefit, such as a gym pass or a massage. The findings will not only enable you to see which benefits you are currently offering are most popular amongst your employees but also what percentage of your workforce are making efforts to look after their health and wellbeing.
You can then take a position that those participating in wellbeing programs and enrolling in benefits are providing a return on investment through the adoption of healthier lifestyle choices.
To discover more health and well-being findings from our study of more than 58,000 employees throughout Europe, download The Future of Work Report.