Preventable health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer are the leading causes of death in NZ and are costly in terms of individual and societal health. We also have a workforce that is ageing and becoming more diverse so we need to be ready to respond to their needs.
These factors can impact on business through injury, illness and absenteeism that ultimately reduce productivity. People's work impacts on more than just their physical health as social, emotional and spiritual factors contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. With most employees spending a large proportion of their day at work, the workplace is an ideal setting to promote health and wellbeing.
It is well known that healthy and engaged employees come to work.
NZ research suggests an absent employee typically costs their employer $837 per year which amounts to $1.26 billion over a year. High levels of employee engagement are viewed as the most effective way to manage absenteeism.
Some employees will show up to work even when they do not feel well and are unlikely to be fully productive. It is estimated that presenteeism accounts for 5.4% of all hours worked - the equivalent of at least twelve working days per employee. Some estimates are as high as 10%. High levels of employee engagement and health can improve productivity and therefore reduce this cost.
Engaged employees are more likely to remain in the workforce for longer which reduces costs associated with turnover, recruitment and training.
Improving workplace culture and employee engagement can substantially reduce the financial and human costs of workplace injuries and compensation cases.
Your business can expect a Return on Investment (ROI) between $2.00 and $6.00 for every $1.00 invested on wellness programming.
Healthy and engaged employees are also more likely to be satisfied with their job and recommend your business as a great place to work, giving your business a competitive advantage.
Southern Cross, Wellness in the Workplace Summary Report, 2013.
NZ Treasury, The Cost of Ill Health, 2010
Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Improving workforce health and workplace productivity - A virtuous circle, October 2013
Health and Productivity NZ, The Productivity of New Zealand's Workforce, 2011