Organizational Wellness

How Wellness Programs Increase Employee Productivity

Aug 11, 2023
Last Updated Sep 1, 2023

Have you heard the sarcastic phrase "beatings will continue until morale improves?"

Everyone knows — intuitively — that you don’t get positive results from negative actions. Punitive management styles are ineffective and detrimental, as there is a strong correlation between employee wellbeing and productivity. When morale is low, employees become disengaged, leading to decreased productivity and degrading team performance (to the tune of $7.8 trillion globally — every year).

Conversely, when employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, their productivity levels can soar, resulting in better outcomes for the entire team and organization as a whole.

Enter employee wellbeing programs. More than a passing trend, they are a tangible strategy with proven results. Employees with access to wellbeing activities are better able to manage their stress levels, stay committed to their tasks, and remain productive throughout the day.

Let's delve deeper into how integrating wellbeing programs into your corporate strategy can boost your workforce productivity.

Yearly report by Wellhub on the ROI of corporate wellbeing programs.

Increased Employee Satisfaction Improves Productivity

Studies have consistently shown that happiness is directly correlated with productivity in the workplace. Employees who are happy tend to be more creative, more dedicated, and more productive than their less content counterparts. This is because when employees are satisfied, they are more engaged with their work, less likely to take sick days, and more likely to stay with the company long-term. 

Put simply, employee happiness isn't just a nice-to-have. It's a crucial element of a successful business.

This happiness-profit connection is clear: Research shows departments with satisfied employees produce a 23% higher profit than those with miserable teams. When people love what they do and where they work, they work harder and better. This increased effectiveness leads to increased productivity, resulting in higher profits for the company.

100% of HR leaders in Wellhub' Return on Wellbeing study said wellness programs are important for employee satisfaction.
100% of HR leaders in Wellhub' Return on Wellbeing study said wellness programs are important for employee satisfaction.

What's more, Wellhub’ 2023 Return on Wellbeing Study revealed that wellness programs enhance employee satisfaction. 

This survey of more than 2,000 international HR leaders found that 98% of companies saw an improvement in employee satisfaction following the implementation of a wellness program. And, of these HR leaders, 63% noted that the impact of wellness programs on employee satisfaction was either very positive or extremely positive. 

This is a clear indication that wellness initiatives are much more than just perks or benefits — they contribute significantly to an employee's overall job satisfaction and performance.

Fully Present Employees Are More Productive

Absence from work, or absenteeism, is a significant drain on productivity. Equally detrimental is presenteeism, when employees come to work even when they're unwell, resulting in reduced productivity and efficiency. When employees are healthy and happy, they're not just more productive — they're also less likely to fall into either absenteeism or presenteeism patterns.

Research indicates that employees are 20% less productive when they work while sick. The financial implications are staggering, costing the U.S. economy an estimated $273 billion annually — even more than absenteeism. These declines in productivity from presenteeism are not just detrimental to the individual employee's performance, they also negatively impact the overall team dynamic and business output.

The toll of sick days on an organization's performance is also significant. Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers an estimated $225.8 billion annually, or $1,685 per employee, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such an expense can have severe implications on a company's bottom line, with impacts radiating beyond direct financial losses. When employees take frequent sick days, their work can fall on their colleagues, leading to increased stress and workloads that can negatively affect the entire team's productivity and morale. (And if team morale gets low enough, it can drive costly turnover.) 

85% of HR leaders see a decrease in the number of sick days taken by employees as a result of their wellness program.

That’s not to say sick days themselves are bad business. Research shows that companies are more productive and profitable when they offer paid sick days for employees to use when needed. Time off helps employees get back on their feet faster, driving home that health is productivity. 

Since corporate wellness programs improve employee morale and health, they reduce both of these productivity drains. And these impacts can be significant: 85% of HR leaders surveyed by Wellhub saw a reduction in the number of sick days taken by employees after the implementation of a wellness program. This reduction in absenteeism, combined with a drop in presenteeism, directly translates to increased productivity and improved business performance.

Boost Productivity With a Wellness Program Today

Employee productivity is directly influenced by their health and satisfaction levels. A comprehensive wellness program can effectively enhance these factors, increasing output.

Wellhub can help unleash employee productivity. Our international network gives employees access to more than 50,000 fitness providers and dozens of wellbeing apps. They can log their bike ride in Strava, track nutrition in MyFitnessPal, manage stress with Thrive, and stretch at a local yoga studio — and so much more.

Who wouldn’t feel better?

There's a reason more than 10,000 organizations improve their employees morale and wellbeing through our integrated platform.

Speak with a wellbeing specialist today for help building a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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