Published On: June 7th, 2022971 words4.9 min read

June is Professional Wellness month, but really, what does that even mean? Many healthcare campaigns are aimed at individual consumers and helping them be well through improving diet, sleep, exercise, and so forth. 

Yet it’s critical to recognize that the workplace has a part to play in the health of the people working for that company. That’s what professional wellness is about.

It’s not just physical wellness, though certainly that’s important! Making sure that employees can work ergonomically (including when they need to stand up at folding tables), that they don’t have to sit all day, and that they can move around are all good for your workers – and therefore for you as the business owner. 

While offering an employee discount or rewards program for gym memberships is better than nothing, it’s not a complete wellness strategy. For example, how can you incorporate more movement into the day, for example by promoting standing desks and walking during meetings? 

Professional wellness isn’t just about physical health though – mental and emotional wellness is a part of it. Using empathy to show your employees that they are cared for can help them get through stressful times. Not overloading them with impossible work schedules, causing them to be constantly worried about falling behind and that they’ll never be able to keep up, is also an excellent way to help promote wellness.

Maybe this all sounds great, but you’re not sure you can afford the extra time and potentially money to make sure your workers are well. But in fact, you can’t afford not to.


1. You’re competing for talent

For the past few decades, employees have put up with a lot to make sure that they had jobs and income (especially after the Great Recession of 2007-2009.) 

But after the pandemic, many people re-evaluated their lives. And they didn’t like having to sacrifice so much. Unions are making a comeback as well, so the world is no longer so heavily tilted toward employers.

If you can’t offer what a worker wants or feels they need, they’re under no obligation to work for you. They can go down the street (or across the world, now that we’re all working remotely) and work for someone who does offer a culture where they can thrive and be healthy.


2. Hiring is expensive

As a business owner, you know very well that there are a lot of costs involved with finding, onboarding, and training new people. Hiring someone who is then going to turn around and leave is a bad investment in terms of time and money.

Why would someone leave your company? If they don’t feel supported or cared about. No one wants to feel like a cog in the machine anymore (if they ever did in the first place.) And they don’t have to stay at a place that treats them like one.

Just because you’re cash-strapped (which many businesses still are) doesn’t mean that you can’t treat your employees well and promote wellness for them. While you might need to spend some money on ergonomically designed workspaces, you have to spend money on office furniture anyway! 

And caring doesn’t cost anything. Look into resources such as Employee Assistance Programs that you can offer for low or no cost. 

See if you can work out a deal with the gym down the street. Plenty of them lost business during the pandemic so you might be able to work out a good deal for your employees.


3. The Great Resignation (or Reshuffling) hasn’t gone away

As an employer, you’re not just competing with your local competition. You’re competing against businesses that offer remote work and flexibility that could be anywhere on the planet. 

Parents with small children especially need flexible hours and understanding supervisors, so if you’re not offering that you’ll lose employees to companies that will.

Small children do grow up, so your talent won’t have those issues forever. But once you lose talented employees because you couldn’t make minimal accommodations, they don’t come back.


4. Workers stay when they feel cared for and that they have a purpose

Retaining talent really isn’t a mystery. There is some base level of compensation that you need to pay, but after that, if your culture isn’t supportive, throwing your money at workers doesn’t solve the problem. (Which should be great news for companies that aren’t exactly swimming in cash right now!)

Helping them stay active physically and giving them emotional and mental support doesn’t cost much but can help you keep your most talented people around. 

Research shows over and over that employees who feel that they have a purpose to what they do, and that management (including top management) listens and supports them, are more engaged with the company. That means they’re more likely to stay.


5. Retention is cheaper in the long run

Hiring is expensive, and if you’ve got talented people you’re probably investing in them as well. So you don’t want all that investment to walk out the door if you could have prevented it! 

And investing in wellness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money when you get creative… and when you care. Professional wellness may seem like you’re spending extra money at first, but if it helps you retain employees, then you save money and your investments stay inside your company.


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