Why Investing In Employee Wellness Is A Strategic Imperative

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The Definition Of Employee Wellness

Employee wellbeing is the practice of prioritising and enhancing the welfare of employees to achieve company success. It involves recognising, assessing, and improving health indicators, eliminating impediments to wellbeing, and providing customised solutions to bolster workplace wellness. In essence, a healthy and motivated workforce can help organisations mitigate risks and increase their bottom line.

The Importance Of Employee Wellness

Fostering employee wellness is a crucial strategy to enhance employee engagement and performance. A study by the Office for National Statistics (2022) revealed that 185.6 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK alone, averaging 5.7 days per worker with a sickness absence rate of 2.6%.

Further, the Financial Times' Britain's Healthiest Workplace Survey highlighted that employees lose the equivalent of 38 productive days annually due to ill-health-related absence and presenteeism (the practice of working while sick). Of these losses, presenteeism accounts for a staggering 55 minutes of every lost productive hour. The research identified a strong correlation between employee lifestyle choices, their physical and mental health, and work performance. Essentially, reducing health risks can directly lead to improved productivity.

Additionally, Deloitte's 2022 report indicated that "Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £56 billion a year." This indicates the profound impact of mental health on overall employee wellbeing and organisational productivity.

Risks And Barriers To Employee Wellness

Despite the clear evidence supporting the benefits of employee wellbeing, barriers persist. These include poor understanding and management of the issues employees struggle with, particularly among managers and senior officials who traditionally exhibit the lowest rates of sickness absence.

Moreover, certain groups are more vulnerable to ill-health and face additional barriers in seeking and receiving support. In many cases, these groups lack the necessary provisions for assistance. By understanding the drivers behind low employee engagement and productivity, risks and barriers to employee wellbeing can be identified and efficiently managed.

The Impact Of Covid-19 And The Shift To Remote Work

The outbreak of Covid-19 has drastically altered the work landscape, making employee health and wellbeing more critical than ever. As many organisations turned to remote work to navigate the challenges induced by the pandemic, a new set of issues emerged.

Remote work, while offering previously unthinkable flexibility, has presented new challenges such as isolation, poor work-life balance, and an increase in presenteeism. Recognising and managing these issues is complex in remote work settings, and it requires efficient communication with well-trained managers.

The Returns Of Employee Wellness Programs

Investing in employee wellness programs is not merely a cost-saving measure, but a productivity-enhancing strategy. Deloitte reported that for every £1 spent on mental health interventions, employers receive £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover.

According to Sport England, organisations with more physically active employees see improved productivity, engagement, and absence rates, with a return on investment of up to £34 for every £1 spent.

The Effectiveness Of Employee Wellness Programs

Investing in employee wellbeing yields significant benefits. Improved wellbeing leads to better morale and engagement, a healthier and more inclusive culture, an enhanced employer brand, lower sickness absence, reduced work-related stress, better staff retention, improved productivity, and better customer service.

In fact, a Populus poll for Mind indicated that 60% of employees feel more motivated and are more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.


With the work and personal lives of employees increasingly intertwined, adopting a comprehensive, strategic, and empathetic approach to employee wellbeing is no longer optional but a strategic imperative. The modern workforce is increasingly discerning and looks for workplaces that demonstrate genuine commitment to their health and wellbeing.

Employee wellness programs are not just an ethical choice; they make sound business sense too. They have been proven to not only reduce health-related costs but also significantly enhance productivity and engagement. By investing in these programs, companies signal that they value their employees' wellbeing, fostering loyalty and commitment that translates into bottom-line results.

The era of remote and hybrid work has underscored the need to redefine and elevate the importance of employee wellbeing. Companies that effectively identify and manage barriers to employee wellness and create supportive, health-centred work environments will reap significant rewards. They will not only retain top talent but also foster more vibrant, productive, and resilient organisations in an increasingly complex and challenging business environment.

Whether you're a multinational corporation or a small business, it's time to consider investing in the wellbeing of your employees - for their good and the health of your bottom line. It's a win-win that every company should strive for.

Make a strategic move for your business' future success by exploring our employee wellbeing services. Together, we can build a healthier and more productive workplace.

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