Organizational health is a universal goal of all establishments, including charitable, governmental, and non-profits. The causality of organizational performance is often associated with organizational health, with a correlator deemed as success or otherwise. This relationship also occurs between employees and businesses because several studies have proven the link between a healthy workforce and a high-performing and successful outfit.

Regardless of aspirations, values, goals, and purposes, a healthy workforce is an asset no business leader can wish away. Even if the challenge is attracting and retaining the best, boosting productivity, remaining highly competitive, increasing profitability, or becoming more impactful, a company is as good as an unhealthy critical member in the fold.

Although many employers are aware, they assume medical insurance cover will deal with it. Health insurance is a laudable initiative, moreso when it includes fitness and wellness programmes that help employees remain sacrosanct health-wise. However, there is more to do within the four walls of workplaces and virtual spaces. Below are 10 out of the 20 reasons companies need corporate wellness specialists.

Onboarding and training – it is essential that new intakes and existing employees are aware of the workplace wellness policy, guidelines, and contacts to show that the employer-employee relationship is not a one-way street. Knowing steps to take or who to approach for a confidential, objective, fair evaluation of work challenges without a backlash is a powerful tool for building trust.

Value alignment – workplace wellness strategists are equipped with the requisite knowledge to engage employees in different ways of internalizing a business vision, mission, values, and purpose. They guide people on personal and corporate values and how to align them to avoid conflict of interest or apathy.

Occupational health & safety – workplace wellness specialist ensures safety measures to prevent work hazards and accidents, identifies risks associated with job functions, educates on the importance of taking necessary precautions, and always ensures adherence to general safety standards. Having a sizable number of employees certified to perform CPR is a great start.

Health education – the most common sicknesses and diseases are rooted in health risk behaviours, lifestyle, and work-related issues. Sadly, healthcare providers are more interested in treatment or cure with little attention to prevention. However, a workplace wellness expert promotes health education among the workforce by creating awareness, developing appropriate wellness programmes based on need assessments, and encouraging participation to foster a healthy lifestyle through incentives. Preventing the rate of staff falling sick has a tremendous impact on productivity and the cost of insurance.

Productivity – in this part of the world, organizations fall short of maximizing capacity to increase productivity, especially when performance is confused with productivity to remain unmeasured. A well-experienced workplace wellness specialist is skilled in tackling this convolution and devising measures to increase its level. Having a productive workforce is pivotal to success, profitability, and growth.

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Psychological safety – there is no health without mental health. Even the WHO corroborated the need to safeguard mental health in workplaces as it estimated the annual cost of lost productivity as one trillion US dollars globally. A corporate wellness strategist is well-trained in establishing the fourteen critical factors to engender a high-performing and psychologically safe work environment.

Change management – change occurs every time in organizations as a reaction or intention, including organizational culture. An error to avoid is assuming everyone understands and accepts the change because even the best growth plan can be frustrated. A workplace wellness specialist can elucidate the reason d’etre, assess employees’ preparedness/readiness, create awareness for the change, train alongside the project manager, solicit feedback from users or affected staff, and reinforce the change for overall success.

Recruitment and retention – employees now expect more in their employment package than juicy pay and perks. Gen Zs are interested in more areas, like balance, workload management, psychological demands, protection, and support. Attracting and retaining talented employees or customers requires a certain level of buy-in, coincidentally, they are part of the main drivers of a safe workspace traditionally anchored by workplace wellness experts.

Organizational profile – to scale up sometimes, businesses need investors. The ability to attract good investors transcends book value to sustainability and brand perception. Adherence to ESG principles is a clincher that a workplace wellness expert can establish with the recommendation of strategic ESG initiatives that double as CSR.

Engagement – according to Gallup, 85 percent of the global workforce are somewhat disengaged at work. Disengaged staff only show up to work and close daily, basically, to receive a salary. They work mainly for survival and security with no sense of belonging or importance. Even though employers are often oblivious to this threat, avoiding the risks prevents poor customer satisfaction and terrible work relationships. A targeted wellness programme will address some cues like sabotaging initiatives, declining productivity, poor communication, increasing tardiness, and absenteeism.

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Kindly watch out for the concluding part next week. Also, send your stressful work scenarios for analysis to [email protected].

Opaleye, a wellbeing specialist and corporate wellness strategist, writes from Lagos