In today’s rapidly changing and demanding work environment, the focus on employee well-being has shown to be a crucial factor in recruitment and retention. Organizations that prioritize the health and wellness of their workforce have shown themselves to have a competitive advantage in the market by increasing employee satisfaction and attracting new talent. Just having wellness initiatives isn’t enough—here’s some insight on how you can explain the importance of workplace wellness in recruitment efforts and spotlight the importance of this topic within your company.
The Great Resignation
The pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for shifts in workforce trends, with the prioritization of wellness being a front-runner in the way individuals evaluate in their work environment. With more people questioning their work environment, the Great Resignation saw increasing numbers of individuals voluntarily resigned from their jobs. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the U.S. workforce reached a quit rate of 3%. Labor economist Lawrence Katz attributed this spike in voluntary resignation to the unpredictable social and economic climate established during the pandemic, as this trend was also evident surrounding the Great Recession in 2008. Katz believes these high-risk environments and caused individuals in the workforce to readdress their priorities and use them as leverage over employers. The resulting attitude has created a market where individuals desire a job to coexist with their personal life, not compete for it.
Understanding the significance
This desire to have more balance has helped to create the emphasis on wellness within the workplace. Wellness pertains to several aspects of health and satisfaction, including physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In essence, the translation of an organization’s efforts to support their employee. Prioritizing employee well-being can be beneficial for both the employee as well as the organization. Some of the benefits include:
- Increased productivity and engagement. Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to be engaged in their organization and demonstrate increased productivity. Highly engaged teams produce 21% greater profitability than those who define themselves as not engaged.
- Increased job satisfaction and organization loyalty. Organizations that focus on employee wellness demonstrate that they care about their employees and are able to foster a sense of loyalty, creating job satisfaction and retention. Sixty-seven percent of employees who work for organizations that offer wellness initiatives claim that they are satisfied with their job and would recommend their company to others.
- Increased recruitment success. Candidates in today’s market are seeking out organizations that prioritize their employees. Therefore, organizations offering wellness programs and emphasizing these values will stand out as desirable options for job seekers.
Strategies to highlight wellness
Creating an organization that values wellness goes beyond just offering incentives for gym memberships or on-site dental appointments. Here are some ways your organization can bring wellness to the forefront:
- Offer robust wellness programs and incentives. Wellness isn’t just something you can address a few times a year. Be sure your wellness program caters to employees’ needs and provides well-rounded support. Wellness programs can include mental health support, access to counseling or therapy, fitness initiatives, flexible work options, and learning and development training.
- Create a culture of wellness. Establishing an environment that prioritizes and promotes wellness can be achieved by encouraging employees to use the wellness benefits and having management actively and visibly use the benefits, too. Staff will feel more comfortable using their benefits if they see their managers using them also.
- Promote a supportive environment. In addition to creating a culture of wellness, it is also crucial to create an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their challenges and seeking support. If open communication is standard, employees will be more likely to provide feedback, develop positive relationships, and establish trust within the organization.
Using wellness as a recruitment and retention strategy
Wellness benefits can be used as a strategy to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. In a tighter and more competitive job market, marketing an organization’s ability to offer additional benefits gives them an advantage over organizations who don’t have a rich benefit offering. Wellness benefits send a message to the candidate that the company cares about its employees and makes it a more inviting place to work. Strategies to communicate this message include:
- Showcase wellness benefits. Highlighting that an organization offers wellness programs and initiatives can be done through various communication channels. For example, listing benefits on job descriptions and advertising the offered benefits on the company website and social media channels can increase the likelihood of capturing potential candidates’ attention.
- Highlight employee testimonials. Showcasing not only what benefits are offered but also how employees use them adds a layer of creditability that wellness is supported within the organization. Using employees and showing the real-life impact from their benefits lays a foundation that you are genuinely interested in the best interests of employees.
- Brand your wellness efforts. Although offering wellness benefits is a step toward setting a positive tone with existing employees and potential candidates, it is just the beginning. To maintain employee satisfaction and a competitive advantage, your wellbeing initiatives must be consistent. Organizations must incorporate the emphasis on wellness into internal and external branding efforts. Communicating wellness as a core value and consistently aligning your business’ actions will sustain your efforts and truly make wellness part of your organization’s DNA.
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