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Employee turnover remains one of the biggest challenges for top management. More and more people consider changing career paths or simply look for better job opportunities. This is due to the increasing competition in the job market and overall lifestyle changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing employee retention issues is very challenging due to its complexity. Fortunately, there are various strategies that help managers tackle high turnover. In this article, we will share with you how can wellness programs have a beneficial effect on employee retention.

What is employee retention?

Employee retention describes a company’s ability to retain its employees and prevent high turnover. It refers to policies and strategies that allow employees to stay at the company for a long time.

The challenges of employee retention

Employee retention is a complex subject and can be difficult to implement in daily corporate life. Nowadays, employee retention is a bigger challenge than ever. As a result, this topic gets more attention from the top management than before. Gladly, there are a lot of methods for retaining employees. However, the diversity of retention programs is not solely a good sign. It mostly shows how complex the issue is and how many different techniques we need to apply to ensure that good employees stay in the company.

When we are talking about employee retention, we are trying to understand why employees quit and how we can manage this process. Here are major challenges that we face in terms of employee retention:

  • Better job opportunities on the market
  • Hiring unsuitable candidates
  • Lack of motivation
  • Workplace anxiety
  • Different job expectations
  • Salary dissatisfaction

Through retention strategies, you should tackle these challenges and decrease the reasons why employees quit. Remember that you cannot prevent employee turnover, which is simply unrealistic. However, you can manage the process and design it in a way that turnover is low.

The disadvantages of employee turnover

Before we move on to solutions, it is important to understand how harmful high turnover can be for your company. The biggest cons of employee turnover include:

  • Turnover is costly – it leads to higher recruitment and onboarding costs
  • Lower productivity – high turnover affects the morale of the whole team, which leads to decreased productivity. Additionally, new employees always take some time to reach the productivity of an experienced person.
  • Damage to brand image – high turnover rate is not attractive for potential candidates; therefore, talent acquisition becomes more complicated
  • Performance – High turnover has a negative impact on the long-term performance of a company.

Why should I implement wellness programs?

Wellness programs are designed to improve the mental and physical health of the employees. Corporate wellness can include a variety of programs and perks that benefit employees as well as your company.

A wellness program is a great tool to attract talent and retain high-performing employees. So, when you create wellness programs, you send a clear message that your organization cares about its employees. This has a very positive impact on your brand and future prospects. While money is a great incentive to retain employees, it is not the sole motivation. People are looking for appreciation and respect in the workplace. This can be achieved through wellness programs.

The critics of wellness programs assume that it is costly and requires excessive resources. However, this is not the right approach. In reality, when you implement wellness programs you are investing in your company and team. If you start working with this mindset, then you will get better results. Additionally, a wellness program does not necessarily mean huge projects. Start with the smallest things, such as an employee health survey or a challenge to encourage a better work environment.

Impact of wellness programs

The impact of wellness programs is undeniable. Especially on employee retention since people who are happy at their workplace tend to stay at the company for a long time.

In the article, “What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs”, the authors have identified different issues that were impacted by wellness programs adopted by different companies.

  1. Lower Costs – According to the study, wellness programs resulted in decreased health care costs for employees.
  2. Greater productivity – wellness programs lead to lower absenteeism and decreased productivity loss.
  3. Higher morale – wellness programs increase the commitment and trust among employees. They take more pride in their job, which leads to improved retention.

These results clearly show that, ultimately, wellness programs have a positive impact on the overall performance of the company. Different wellness activities have influenced employee retention as well as productivity.


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How to design a wellness program?

The main question is, how to design a wellness program that benefits employee retention? Unfortunately, a lot of wellness programs are not contributing to employee well-being. This happens because companies do not design programs for their employees but just implement common examples. Follow these steps to create successful wellness programs and improve employee retention:

1. Risk Assessment

Determine the risks that your employees face on a daily basis. This includes mental health as well as physical health risks. You can use the NHS guide “Risk Assessment for Staff” to make this process easier. For example, if your employees have to work under pressure, then mental health risks may include anxiety and depression. This information can give you valuable insight into designing efficient programs.

2. Retention Audit

Determine key reasons for employee turnover. Conduct interviews with employees who are planning to leave or have already quit. Additionally, find out what attracts potential employees. You can use this information to see the link between recruitment and retention.

3. Conduct a survey

Find out what are the challenges your employees face. Evaluate the health and wellness needs of your team. Have interviews and find out what are their expectations in terms of workplace wellbeing. Compare these results with the initial Risk Assessment.

4. Determine Objectives

Develop the goals of your wellness programs and set KPIs. Make the objectives SMART. Well-being is a general topic, and it is not easy to measure. However, you can use surveys to track the progress and make goals measurable.

5. Create Wellness program types and activities

The first step is to decide what types of programs you want to have. The common examples include stress reduction programs, health screening, better nutrition programs, etc. Then you can come up with specific activities within these areas. For example, for better nutrition, you can plan meetings for nutrition education or improve the quality of meals available at the office.


How can SupportRoom help with workplace mental health?

If you are not sure how to best support yourself or your organisation, one thing you can do is get in touch with specialist support.

At SupportRoom, we offer flexible therapy to employees and individuals who need mental health interventions but cannot wait for appointments or scheduled sessions. We know that work-related stress can be very demanding on our psychological health, hence we help you look after your mental health flexibly and conveniently that works for you.

If you want to find out more information about us or schedule an appointment with a therapist, just get in touch.

Final Thoughts

Wellness programs can be a great tool for decreasing employee turnover. Additionally, you can use them to increase productivity and performance.

Wellness programs should be about employees. Hence, remember to include your employees in the process. Ask them to come up with wellness program ideas and encourage them to share their feedback.

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