Why is wellbeing at work so important?

Most leaders know that employees who enjoy wellbeing at work are more likely to be loyal, productive and offer better customer service than those who don’t. What they tend to struggle with is how to move beyond employee engagement and unlock the creative and commercial benefits of a thriving workplace.

The reasons for doing so were quantified in a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report highlighting the financial impact of mental health and wellbeing on business’ bottom line.

According to this research, an organisation stands to gain, on average, a return on investment (ROI) of $2.30 for every $1 spent on mental health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace. However, if your organisation operates in these industry sectors, the ROI is even greater:

  • Financial Services = $3.60
  • Health Care = $3.60
  • Telecommunications = $4.20
  • Mining = $5.70
  • Public Administration = $5.70
  • Utilities (Electricity, Gas and Water) = $5.70.

Mental health and wellbeing costs Australian businesses alone more than $10 billion every year. With more than 6 million lost man hours annually, no longer is it possible for leaders to ignore the price of lost productivity; especially during periods of operational uncertainty or financial difficulty.

Organisations that not only promote, but also establish, a culture of mental health and wellbeing enhance their financial performance by an average of 10%. This is not a surprise, given that up to 50% of employee-initiated turnover can be attributed to health and wellbeing issues, and 34% of lost productivity is attributed to depression and stress disorders. The difference, which is discretionary, is driven by highly engaged employees who are happy to go the extra mile for their employer, their colleagues and their customers.

If your current approach is not reaping the returns possible, can you afford not to invest in an integrated approach to wellbeing?


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