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Why invest in wellbeing

From increased productivity to happier staff, there’s heaps of reasons for workplaces to invest in wellbeing.

Workplaces that invest in wellbeing initiatives enjoy increased productivity, have more engaged and happier staff, and are more profitable.

People who achieve good standards of wellbeing at work are likely to be more creative, more loyal, more productive and provide better customer satisfaction than those with poor levels of wellbeing at work.

In New Zealand mental health problems are common, with nearly one in two New Zealanders likely to meet the criteria for a mental illness at some time in their lives.

Work may be the last place you want to be when feeling low and experiencing stress, anxiety and depression, however there are things workplaces can do to help staff thrive and tackle setbacks.

And when employees believe their employer cares about their wellbeing, they are more engaged at work than others.

Five reasons to invest in health and wellbeing

Improved productivity

Investing in wellbeing initiatives increases productivity. University of Warwick research showed a 12% increase in performance and productivity when workers were happy. An Australian study has found that the healthiest workers are almost three times more effective than the least healthy.

Good for business

As a rough guide, every organisational dollar invested into organisational wellbeing provides a return of approximately five dollars (Rath & Harter, 2010). But the return can be as high as $9 for every wellbeing dollar spent. Research closer to home in Australia by Price Waterhouse Coopers showed an average return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace

It’s the law

Employers have legal obligations in relation to the management of health and safety in the workplace – this includes taking reasonable steps to identify and manage stress and fatigue.

Workers are demanding it

Workers want to have their wellbeing prioritised. While salaries are important, they are not the only motivator when it comes to choosing who you want to work for. Many of today’s employees, especially Generation X, Y and Z choose to work for organisations that promote flexibility, provide lots of feedback, and focus on employee wellbeing.
Creating a “Wow, I really want to work for them,” culture helps attract and retain staff, and helps to lower staff turnover and absenteeism.

Make more money

Effective workplace initiatives focusing on mental health have been shown to have a positive financial impact on business.

The Health and Productivity Institute of Australia found that workplace health programmes result in a 25 per cent decrease in absenteeism and a 41 per cent decrease in workers compensation costs.

Another study found that increasing happiness at work reduced the cost of employee turnover by 46%. It's also been shown that high wellbeing organisations make more money – and the organisations with satisfied employees do better on the stock market than those without.

Given the evidence, it’s not surprising that a Business New Zealand survey found nine out of ten enterprises considered improving employee wellbeing as either desirable or a priority, while a quarter of companies named it top priority.

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