You’d think, considering I offer a training package for organisations this blog post would be something I’d want to keep under wraps…
Look I get it.
I’m the first one to say, happy employees are profitable employees (& just so we’re on the same page your profits don’t mean diddly squat to me, but your employee’s emotional and mental state, well that matters a lot).
In the past few years, thousands of organisations have popped up offering different packages to help you invest in an ‘employee wellness’ programme so that you can make your employees feel good, work harder and put more money into your back pocket.
& of course add your cash to the $200 billion dollar industry…
Of course you’d want to invest though, because it’s great for your employee’s & it’s got a fantastic R.O.I
If you googled whether wellness programmes work, you may even stumble across research articles like the one by Baicker, David & Song (2010), who say they offer a 6-to-1 return on investment.
You and I both know that is a pretty phenomenal financial R.O.I.
& on that alone you’d want to hit the button and hand over your budget.
But, this really isn’t the whole story.
For starters, wellness is not a tangible thing.
For one organisation wellness may mean having monthly massages, for another it’s about getting their employees to play sports and another it’s all about a nutritional diet and therefore they invest in a canteen overhaul.
Technically, all three organisations are implementing a wellness programme, but I guarantee that all three will not get a 6-to-1 return on investment.
In fact, if they’ve just taken one of these things on board then it’s very unlikely to yield any R.O.I at all…
Because your healthy employees will probably engage and the non-healthy employees, the ones you want to make a change wont.
If they were interested in becoming fitter, healthier or change their diet then they would have already.
& you implementing wellness changes are unlikely to make already healthy people healthier…
Look, here’s the truth -
We accept that people can do some pretty nasty things (e.g., rob a bank, defraud a charity or commit a violent act towards another human being)
because we all have free will.
Yet, we for some reason believe we can instil a wellness programme and everyone in the organisation will magically fall in line, jump on board and just like that our employees are more engaged than those working for Google and Lego…
It’s just not going to happen - EVER…
You need to change the culture of the organisation & this takes time.
It also relies on your employees making a conscious decision to take part, to change their behaviours and most importantly, want to change.
Now, we’re going deeper than a cultural change, now we’re meddling in my territory – changing human behaviour.
& just so you know, this is hard.
Because no one likes to be told what to do.
How many studies are out there that show alcohol is poisonous to our minds and bodies, yet we still drink…
How many pieces of research have linked bacon to cancer, yet we still love a good old bacon buttie?
How many scientists tell us sugar is as addictive to our brains as heroin (& as damaging), yet we gobble up cakes, sweets and biscuits like there’s a world shortage.
We believe, what we choose to believe, and we will do, what we choose to do.
This is free will.
This is really important because…
Your super motivated, excited and geared up employees are the ones who are going to jump at the chance to do wellness related things at work and they probably do all this stuff already, meaning it isn’t going to change diddly squat in your organisation.
In fact, new research says this exact same thing (although, they don’t lay it all out in quite as down-to-earth terms):
“This stringently-designed study suggests that there is no “return on investment” case for these programmes … The programmes may have a tangential benefit in attracting healthy workers to the organisation – a sort of targeted perk – but not in raising wellbeing as they proclaim. And the population you would most hope to aid – those who are poorer, currently less active, and with more pressing health issues – are the least likely to engage, although they will still be paying towards the programmes through insurance premium hikes (or taxation in other systems).”
(Jones, Molitor & Reif, 2018)
(See what I mean?)
& you remember that 6-to-1 R.O.I that I quoted above?
“The 99 percent confidence intervals for the ROI associated with our intervention rule out the widely cited savings estimates reported in the meta-analysis of Baicker, Cutler and Song (2010).”
(Jones, Molitor & Reif, 2018)
That study by Baicker, Cutler & Song (2010) has been cited over 300 times on the internet…
But like most good stories, there’s a plot-twist about to happen…
The very same gigantic study quoted above which says wellness programmes are not worth the paper they’re written on also stated:
“A few effects proved statistically significant – feeling subjectively happier at work and one measure of job satisfaction – but the remaining 37 measures were non-significant.”
(Jones, Molitor & Reif, 2018)
The 37 non-significant measures were all due to physical health related activates.
The 2 significant measures were to do with how they felt about the organisation.
If you can make your employees feel valued then you’ll achieve the exact same outcome.
This is one thing which has been shown to significantly impact the overall health and wellbeing of all employees.
I mean, it shouldn’t really be a shock…
But, knowing this, doesn’t make it easy to do.
In fact, it’s usually a few bad-egg managers causing the harm in the first place.
You can very simply, save yourself a whole host of cash by getting rid of the rotten-apples and starting to treat your employees like you actually care about them.
If however, you’ve left your teams to rot under one of those bad-eggs for a while chances are just getting someone new isn’t going to make all your problems disappear.
You see, our brains can only take so much.
After a point we all break.
If you’ve got broken employees working for you and you don’t do something to support them back to emotional and mental wellness, they’ll continue to stay broken even though you’ve taken out the trash.
& that is where I come in.
I help you support your team in house.
I show you how to effectively use counselling and psychotherapeutic techniques so that you can safely support your employees to stay in work.
More importantly, I help you understand how to spot the signs that someone is struggling before they’re showing outward signs of stress, depression and anxiety so that you can implement strategies early on and effectively reduce the negative cost to your organisation.
Follow the link below to find out more about our business training packages so that you can safeguard your teams health and wellness without relying on outside intervention:
Have a fantastic Wednesday & see you soon x Katie x
Baicker, Katherine., Cutler, David., & Song, Zuri. (2010). Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings. Health Affairs. 29(2):304-11. Retrieved 11-09-2018 from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0626
Jones, Damon. Molitor, David., & Reif, Julian. (2018) What do workplace wellness programs do? Evidence from the Illinois workplace wellness study. National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 11-09-2018 from: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24229.pdf