The Rise Of Corporate Wellness To Support Employee Retention


Victoria Franca is a Board Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Founder of Omne Wellness.

In today’s economy, employee retention is a topic at the forefront of many businesses. With rises in employee turnover, business leaders can take action to improve retention through benefits that will support not only the work environment but employees’ lives outside of work as well.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.15 million people quit their jobs in August 2022. This statistic is alarming as the recruitment process is time-consuming and can be as expensive as one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary, according to Gallup. With increases in turnover, it’s difficult to know the exact reason why employees move on from their current company, but a study done by Flexjobs found that 62% of employees leave due to a toxic company culture, and 49% of employees leave due to a lack of healthy work-life boundaries.

The Rise Of Corporate Wellness

With these changes within many industries, some companies have begun to be more proactive about their retention strategies by offering corporate wellness to their employees.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) defines workplace wellness as: “An organized, employer-sponsored program that is designed to support employees (and, sometimes, their families) as they adopt and sustain behaviors that reduce health risks, improve quality of life, enhance personal effectiveness, and benefit the organization’s bottom line.”

According to the 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report by Wellable Labs, 76% of companies are investing more in stress management and resilience resources for their team members, all of which can be used for work situations as well as in their personal lives.

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The Benefits Of Corporate Wellness

1. Increased Engagement

The HBR article also references a study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, which shows that “organizations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower voluntary attrition than do those whose programs have low effectiveness (9% vs. 15%).”

2. Higher Productivity

Healthy employees are more likely to show up to work—and they are likely to produce more once they’re at work. There is often an increase in productivity when employees know how to support their health and manage their stressors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress accounts for 75% of all doctor visits. Emotional stress can also contribute to other health issues.

3. Investing In People

The Harvard Business Review reported that for every $1 invested in people, $6 was saved in company health care costs. With more tools available for employees through corporate wellness programs, the costs of sick leave, associated health plans, workers’ compensation and disability can also decrease.

4. Employee Longevity And Morale

Happy employees are more likely to stay in the company. I’ve noticed that once a wellness initiative is promoted in an organization, the company culture often begins to shift. Employees may feel more valued and trust the employer more, and this can create higher morale in the organization.

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Getting Started With Corporate Wellness

Creating a company culture that values employees’ well-being can change the trajectory of your business and the quality of life of your employees. To begin implementing corporate wellness into your business, start with an employee survey inquiring about different wellness topics that they’d find most helpful to learn about. This will help narrow the specific topics that your organization is interested in and where you should focus your attention.

A great way to begin this initiative is by selecting a day that your company focuses on wellness. For many, this can be “Wellness Wednesday.” On this specific day of the week, you can offer a wellness workshop with a local expert. If this is outside of the scope or budget of what you can provide, send out a weekly email with valuable wellness tips on Wednesdays. There are various ways to get creative with this initiative.

Choosing The Right Leader For Corporate Wellness Initiatives

Depending on the size of your organization and how much your HR department can take on, some companies may want to hire someone to help, such as a wellness consultant, functional practitioner or in-house chief wellness officer (CWO). (Disclosure: This is something I help companies with.) Delegating a wellness program to a third party or in-house CWO often allows more in-depth support and long-term planning to ensure the wellness activities are executed and employee engagement and success rates are captured.

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To find the right candidate that best suits your business and company wellness goals, focus on the candidate’s experience, training and corporate training knowledge. Education or certifications are essential; look for someone who is a medical professional, board-certified practitioner or certified health coach. It’s important to also consider past leadership experience as these initiatives will require leading different groups and being a key player in your organization.

During the interview process, inquire about the types of bespoke offerings that can be done for your organization, such as an employee wellness app, wellness digital course or virtual offerings. The more the candidate can personalize these offerings, the more value it brings to your organization.

Finally, ask if the candidate has event planning experience or project management experience. They may not be planning your corporate gatherings, but they will be facilitating different wellness experiences that require logistics, planning and making a seamless experience for you and your organization.

Supporting employees’ mental and physical well-being has been shown to provide an abundance of benefits to the team member and company. With more resources available to employees, better performance can yield increased productivity. I think the future of employee retention, engagement and employee morale will depend in high part on employees’ well-being, and that is why corporate wellness is the new strategic imperative companies should consider.


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