The workplace can be extremely stressful at times. Looming deadlines, demanding bosses, difficult co-workers, and lofty expectations represent only a few things that contribute to employees’ increased stress levels.
Work-related stress alone costs the U.S. close to 300 billion dollars annually.1 Work-related stress is linked to employee disengagement, chronic diseases that impact productivity, and work-related injuries and illnesses. Combined, these factors cost the U.S. an estimated 2.2 trillion dollars annually, or about 12 percent of the U.S. GDP.2 These are alarming numbers.
These costs manifest themselves in several ways for businesses — loss of productivity and time off due to injury or illness as chief among them. Poorly performing employees directly affect your business, as does having employees who need to rely heavily on their healthcare benefits, which can lead to rising costs for your business to cover your employees in the future.
Stress, the hidden killer of productivity and ROI
While factors such as money, health, family, and the economy can fuel stress in workers, the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2019 report revealed 64% of Americans cite work as a significant source of stress.3 This stress is statistically proven to impact personal and business relationships, as well as sleep.4
Highly stressed workers are more likely to experience burnout. As we know, burnout is highly detrimental to productivity and can contribute to higher turnover. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that enterprise-level businesses, as well as medium-sized, are investing in wellness solutions for their employees and driving the rapid growth of the wellness industry.
Previous workplace wellness efforts have fallen short
Previously, companies tried to support happiness at work by providing games, activities, happy hours, and other office perks. Yet, these have not achieved the desired impact on employee health and wellness.
While stress is not the number one cause of chronic illness, it can be a major contributing factor. The World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health estimate that, from 2011 to 2030, major chronic diseases and mental illnesses will cost the global economy 47 trillion dollars.5 The dramatic increase in chronic and mental illness costs are despite past employer attempts to promote employee wellness. Instead, the issue has only become worse, and more employees are finding themselves relying on their mental and physical health plans to try and deal with the issues they are experiencing.
Looking back at the statistic quoted earlier, 64% of Americans cite work as a significant source of stress.6 As a business, this is highly concerning. If 64% of your workers are stressed at work, this means a large majority of them are not performing at 100%. They are distracted, overwhelmed, and approaching burnout, among other issues.
How wellness benefits can lessen reliance on healthcare benefits
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the global, yearly health spending at 7.8 trillion dollars (about $24,000 per person in the US) as of 2020.7 We can assume this number has increased due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the wellness industry has grown exponentially over the past five years. The now 4.7 trillion-dollar wellness industry has grown from 3.7 to 4.2 trillion between 2015 and 2017 and is expected to continue to grow.
As we mentioned in our last blog, this growth is partially due to the number of businesses investing in mindfulness programs and platforms for their employees. In response, the number of programs has also increased as businesses recognize that there is a need for mindfulness in the workplace.
Healthy, happy employees – the key to greater ROI
Investing in mindfulness might seem like just another costly employee perk for your business. However, by doing so, you likely will save your business money in the long run. A recent study found that though health insurance price increases were for a variety of reasons, the service price and intensity of use, as well as the rising cost of pharmaceutical drugs, made up 50% of the increases.8 While there are not many published studies showing a direct correlation between businesses supporting wellness and lower insurance premiums, logic would suggest there can certainly be a correlation over time.
After all, there is no way to get around the fact that healthy, happy employees are more productive and perform better than those who are not. Therefore, protecting and growing ROI, can be as simple as investing in your employees’ wellness through workplace mindfulness programs. If you can decrease the number of stressed employees in your business, you will likely increase your ROI.
Workplace mindfulness training— a simple solution for a crippling problem
Mindfulness is a path to wellness that supports personal and professional growth for your employees. Dan Harris, the author of “10 Percent Happier,” said in an interview, “I think of mindfulness as the ability not to be yanked around by your own emotions. That can have a big impact on how [employees] are in the workplace.”9 Indeed, it can!
Because talent is one of the most critical commodities to a business, protecting the health and well-being of that talent is a cost-effective measure for your business to retain employees, support productivity, and increase growth and ROI.
Judge Learning Solutions for workplace mindfulness
The Judge Group takes mindfulness practice seriously. Our resident, trained mindfulness experts created a blended mindfulness program designed to help reduce stress and anxiety and increase productivity, concentration, empathy, optimism, and self-confidence among employees.
Bring mindfulness to your workplace by contacting a learning specialist today.
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