Corporate wellness essential to organisational performance

by 11 Jun 2009

Organisations that ignore the health of their employees are putting productivity and profits at risk, with research revealing a close link between organisational performance and wellness.

The research found that when health and wellness is managed well, organisational performance increased more than 2.5 times, however, profitability decreased more than 3.5 times when health and wellness is not managed well.

The research also showed a link between wellness, employee engagement and retention, with the number of engaged employees increased nearly eight times when health and wellness is managed well, however, organisations were four times more likely to lose talent in the next twelve months where it is managed poorly.

“Employee engagement has been a focal point for some companies in recent years as they struggled to attract and retain talent. While this should remain an important issue, it’s not enough on its own: wellness is the other crucial part of the equation,” said Bridget Beattie, general manager of Australia & New Zealand for Right Management, which conducted the research.

“This study also demonstrates that failing to manage wellness effectively has a significant, negative impact on an organisation’s profitability, so the business case for physical and psychological health is stronger than ever.”

The research, which covered 28,000 employees across 15 countries, also found that 57 per cent of Australians felt they can balance work and personal interests and still progress while a further 56 per cent felt they have an appropriate workload.

Beattie said the first step in any behaviour change program is to raise awareness through measurement at the individual and organisational level. In turn, this will allow leaders to make informed decisions about targeted and effective programs to address gaps and boost performance.

“To boost productivity, reduce costs and increase creativity, business needs to focus on overall organisational wellness,” she said.

“Engagement and health should not be viewed as two unrelated constructs managed by separate departments, HR and OH&S - it needs to have a whole-of-company approach driven by the senior leadership team.”


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