Two main factors depict a healthy workplace: the effects of the work environment on staff and personal character. The personal character includes personal habits, beliefs, genetics, health conditions, values, and attitudes. Therefore, an organization that wants to remain healthy through its workforce must take absolute control of the former while exerting its strong will over the latter. Even though employers’ involvement in staff’s health may be deemed overbearing, its intrinsic reasons justify it as an effective business success strategy. So, here are the remaining 10 reasons for engaging the services of workplace wellness experts or appointing one to your HR department.

Organizational culture – whether a business is deliberate about it or not, every company has a culture. Ensuring this culture values respect, job satisfaction, appreciation, balance, involvement, learning, and a degree of autonomy is one of the tasks for a wellness expert. To avoid assuming these psychosocial factors exist, wellness experts ensure they do with well-intended assessments followed by reinforcements.

Diversity and inclusion – with globalization in full swing in this knowledge era, employees now have colleagues from different parts of the world with varying cultures, orientations, values, languages, and beliefs. Workplace wellness specialists encourage diversity for business growth and fairness while maintaining mutual respect, understanding, and tolerance.

Unhealthy workforce – although most businesses take pre-employment screening seriously, sustaining their workers’ health quality is often neglected. This neglect encourages unhealthy habits amongst workers as work stress coping mechanisms. With the quality of health of Nigerian workers gradually diminishing through drug abuse, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, back pains, injuries, infections, and mental health issues, deliberate health interventions from workplace health promoters are welcomed to change the trajectory.

R.O.I – designing, developing, and deploying wellness programs at work can be capital and time-consuming if not handled by professionals. Time and cost often discourage a management that seeks a quick fix. Interestingly, a team of experienced human capital and wellness experts can implement targeted interventions and programmes that will not only solve the problem at hand but also produce a positive return on investment within the shortest possible time frame.

Opportunity cost – the cost of not engaging the expertise of corporate wellness specialists to ensure a healthy workforce is too high to be ignored. Aside from known costs like low productivity and absenteeism, there are physical and mental health risk factors that these professionals intelligently identify and measure within a workforce, with root causes indicated and dealt with.

Opportunity benefits – companies sometimes get befuddled by the numerous wellness programs available. This trend makes businesses assume that a high price means the best results. The good news is that interventions need not be expensive to be effective. Highly skilled workplace wellness officers can strategically structure physical health promotions and mental health interventions to achieve set goals. Furthermore, research has also shown a correlative effect of one program on another, e.g., a unit increase in job satisfaction caused a quarter-unit rise in customer satisfaction.

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Social exhaustion – CSR in the digital age goes beyond external contributions or support to the community as it now includes staff treatment. Social exhaustion is an outcome of daily work experience that manifests as road rage, domestic abuse, heart attack, stroke, clinical depression, and panic attack. A sensitive organization prevents such after-work vices with recommendations from wellness experts.

Due diligence – although workplace wellness experts may not practice law, they stay abreast of laws that affect workers. Staying informed on existing, new, and future laws alongside their interpretations and effects on employers is key. Since the mental health bill got amended in February 2023, there has been more interest in our labour law than ever. A highly skilled corporate health advisor can rightly envisage legislative guidance to organizations in the six work stress areas and ensure compliance well ahead to prevent litigation.

Litigation – due diligence helps wellness experts prevent organizations from falling into errors that warrant lawsuits. From disability claims, sexual harassment, and blackmail, to workplace stress, the cost of litigation can be very high in monetary terms but even costlier when brand image and goodwill get eroded. Also, these professionals ensure companies do not infringe on human rights in the bid to keep them healthy by using soft skill tools instead of coercion. Even when employee participation is initially low because it is voluntary, well-being strategists are well-experienced in increasing engagement without force.

Tools and processes – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a healthy work environment. It’s best to allow professionals in the field to handle such a project because it requires a lot of work, relevant experience, persistence, and patience. Experienced workplace wellness officers have access to numerous well-researched assessment tools, steps, standards, and processes that make them deploy interventions successfully with measurable outcomes.

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I am still accepting stressful work scenarios for analysis, kindly send your email to [email protected].

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