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Mental Fitness

Unlocking Productivity: The Power of Workplace Wellness

Wellness Matters at Work

Published November 01, 2023
by Positive Intelligence

Wellness at Work — By the Numbers

Workplace wellness spending rose around 22% in 2021, according to a Fidelity survey. Ninety-two percent of employers expanded efforts around mental health and emotional wellbeing. And while this uptick may have been pandemic-inspired, all signs indicate continued investment. In 2023, 90% of employers said the current economic environment would not lead to reduced wellness investment. Thirty-one percent said they plan to boost investment again.

But are these well-meant efforts delivering results? The data could be more inspiring.

Stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression are still on the rise. 

  • Half (51%) of today’s young workers said they needed help for emotional or mental health challenges in the past year.
  • Nearly half (43%) of middle managers reported burnout.
  • A record-breaking 29% of U.S. adults today say they’ve been diagnosed with depression at some point.

This mounting mental health crisis takes its toll in many ways, including on productivity. An estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year globally to depression and anxiety at a cost of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

The Vast Potential of Successful Wellness Programming 

Compelling wellness initiatives can go a long way to improving the employee experience. 

  • Wellness initiatives can help organizations achieve a 3-to-1 ROI in productivity gains. The result is less absenteeism, fewer workplace safety issues, and higher employee satisfaction.
  • Wellness programs can support recruitment and retention. More than 80% of employees say that how employers support mental health will be an important factor in future job searches.
  • Supporting workplace wellness can raise the resilience of an organization. A more resilient workforce paves the way for weathering disruptions and shaping bigger-picture, longer-term success.

But the best-laid wellness programs often fail because they’re missing one foundational piece: a culture of engaged employees ready to shift their mindset, personally and as a team.

The High Cost of Disengagement in Workplace Wellness

Broadly speaking, disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. That’s equal to 11% of global GDP. For countless reasons, many of today’s workers have essentially checked out. As a result, they’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work.

Therefore, they’re also less likely to benefit from wellness resources — let alone use them. Even employees who are generally engaged in their work may view wellness activities as yet another to-do item to check off the list.

Ideally, wellness programs can ramp up employee morale, drive recruitment and retention, and advance diversity, inclusion, and belonging efforts. But without collective buy-in, wellness programs can’t deliver on their full promise. 

Fortunately, leadership teams have a powerful opportunity to turn the tide on disengagement. By leveraging mental fitness tools, you can unite employees in a culture of wellness. In turn, your organization will realize a true return on investment for your menu of workplace wellness offerings.

“We can experience true purpose and meaning if we foster a culture in which we all feel noticed, affirmed, and needed.” —Simon Sinek

Are you ready to maximize your investments in workplace wellbeing? Download the Comprehensive Guide to Wellness at Work to learn how.

Wellness at Work

Nurture a culture of wellness in the workplace to boost engagement, beat burnout, and increase performance.

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