Why the well-being of your employees and their families matter

According to a Gallup poll, it’s estimated that only 8% of employees strongly agree that they have higher overall well-being because of their employers. That means the vast majority think that their job is detrimental to their well-being. It’s time to change that. Why? Because, simply offering a wellness program, no matter how well-intentioned, provides no guarantee of improving employee well-being. Well-being is more than physical health. In their book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, Tom Rath and Jim Harter outline the different elements of well-being. Each element of well-being (career, social, financial, physical, and community) is interconnected and simply singling out one element is not an effective strategy. Wondering what the most essential element of well-being is? Career well-being or liking what you do every day. Rath and Harter explain that the odds of improving the other elements of well-being diminish when career well-being is not achieved.

That’s why, when organizations invest in the overall well-being of their employees and their families, they reap significant reductions in costs and increases in value over time. Data shows that people who have thriving well-being take significantly fewer sick days and their lost productivity is around $840 per person, compared with $28,800 per person a year for employees with very low levels of well-being. Thriving employees are also healthier, they help improve their communities and the brands of the organizations that employ them. It’s clear that what’s best for the employee and their families is also best for the organization.

So if your wellness program lacks an overarching strategy for ensuring the well-being of both your employees and their families,  it may be time to reconsider making relevant changes. By extending at least some of the programs like biometric screenings, flu shot clinics, Lunch N’ Learns, cooking demos etc., to families as well, the organization may be able to reap the following benefits:

  • Reduce sick leaves taken by employees for themselves as well as for taking care of their families

  • Reduce health care claim costs by reducing the risk of chronic illnesses for employees and their families

  • Improve employee presenteeism by raising health awareness and ensuring the overall well-being of the employees and their families.

Does your organization include families as part of the company well-being program? What family benefits have yielded improved engagement and results for your company? Talk to us in the comments section!