How Corporate Wellness Can Help Avoid Layoffs

How Corporate Wellness Can Avoid LayoffsWith the economic turmoil and job losses over the last several years, the last thing this country needs is any more layoffs and hard-working employees out of work.

It’s time for companies to get creative and proactive with keeping their costs under control, while avoiding having to hand out the dreaded pink slip.

But have you considered how layoffs could be avoided as a cost-saving measure, if corporate wellness is a priority, and the new standard in the workplace? Could the cost-savings of healthy employees outweigh the cost-savings of layoffs?

The statistics don’t lie. Corporate wellness, which results in healthy, engaged and productive employees, drastically lowers healthcare and talent acquisition costs, which are business expenses that take away from a company’s profits. Although it might appear counter intuitive, if these costs are lowered then overall business expenses lower and profit margins increase.

It ultimately helps companies avoid the unpleasant burden of laying off team members to save the bottom line.

An Alternative to Layoffs

Rather than trimming down staff to save money, let’s get proactive so we can avoid them. Cost-savings can be made elsewhere in the areas of lowered healthcare costs, lost productivity due to sick days, and talent acquisition and re-training costs when down the road, new employees will likely be needed.

Factoring in the cost of unhealthy staff that are burnt out and on sick leave is becoming a budgetary consideration for progressive organizations, and so it should be.

The initial investment of implementing an effective corporate wellness program can result in long-term ROI that with a bit of vision and commitment, any organization can realize within just one year. It’s not rocket science; just a new way of thinking.

The Hard Returns on Employee Wellness

With a smoking cessation program alone, a company can save approximately $6,000 each year for every staff member who quits, according to WebMD News.

Think about it. How many of your employees smoke? And what is that costing your company?

And according to a Forbes.com article entitled, “The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace”, unscheduled time away due to sick days and lost productivity costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees.

Perhaps your HR department should review the amount of sick time that’s been taken over the past year, to get an idea of where your company is losing money due to unhealthy, overworked or burned out employees. How could that be turned around?

Statistics like these are an eye-opener, and should motivate any organization to consider the financial benefits of a program for a healthy workplace.

Be a Part of the Solution for Healthier Employees

Other demonstrable advantages to a company’s bottom line as a result of a corporate wellness program include:

  • Lower employee turn-over; with costs for lost knowledge, recruiters and training.
  • Less employee depression, and substance abuse.
  • Increased employee engagement and contribution.
  • Increased job satisfaction and self-esteem.
  • Increased employee morale, energy and stamina.
  • Increased camaraderie among co-workers.
  • Less workplace hazards and improved ergonomics, minimizing accidents, injury and repetitive strains.

If a company provides their best to an employee, the natural result is that happier, healthier employees bring their very best to the job.

From a view of the financial bottom line, the cost of unscheduled absenteeism, employee turn-over, low productivity and poor morale can all equate to thousands of dollars per year per employee.

From a productivity standpoint, guess what? Happier staff are more engaged, productive, loyal and supportive of the company they work for. Productivity will naturally increase from staff who feel appreciated, supported, and are able to have more balanced work-life schedules.

As the realization of the cost-saving implications hit home, business leaders and executives are collectively taking stock on the health of their own employees and corporate culture, and are increasingly understanding the critical importance of workplace wellness.

But as with any change in a corporate environment, it first must begin with a shift in attitude that starts at the top, with proactive and measurable actions to follow suit. Corporate leaders need to be fully engaged and champion a company-wide wellness strategy for true success and measurable outcomes.

And given the statistics and cost savings, why wouldn’t our corporate leaders want a healthier workplace and avoid having to lay off employees to save money?

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