Retention / Health and wellness

The importance of investing in health and wellness

Last updated: December 1, 2018

image of a healthy bowl of fruit

The importance of investing in health and wellness

Investments in employee health and wellness have far-reaching benefits. Workplaces that have strong health and wellness programs tend to have healthier employees who are engaged on the job and have lower rates of absenteeism.

This contributes to a more positive and healthier workplace culture – a workplace that demonstrates higher levels of trust, respect and fairness. This makes the organization a more desirable place to work for high-performing employees and makes it easier to retain top talent.

The wide-ranging benefits of a healthy workplace

Healthy workplaces have been shown to:

  • attract better quality employees,
  • increase employee productivity, morale and commitment,
  • see higher levels of employee engagement,
  • reduce employee turnover,
  • reduce healthcare costs,
  • reduce absenteeism and
  • improve employee/employer relations.

Key elements of a healthy workplace

Many elements contribute to a healthy workplace, including the overall workplace culture, employee health and lifestyle practices, and the physical environment.

healthy diagram diagram

Workplace culture and supportive environments

A supportive and positive workplace culture is one where:

  • Employees understand how their work contributes to the organization’s vision and purpose
  • Communication is clear and transparent
  • Leadership is cohesive
  • Rules are clear and widely understood by all
  • There is a sense of trust, respect and a sense of belonging
  • There’s freedom of expression and protection from harassment and discrimination
  • There’s an appropriate balance between life and work responsibilities
  • Employees feel assured of their physical and psychological health and safety

Health & lifestyle practices

Workplace programs can contribute to healthy lifestyle practices. These programs can include:

  • Employee and family assistance programs
  • Wellness committees
  • Workplace accommodations
  • Initiatives to promote healthy living options, including eating well, smoking cessation and fitness programs

Physical environment

A healthy and safe physical environment also contributes to a positive culture. These are workplaces where:

  • Worksites are safe and clean
  • Employees are knowledgeable about emergency procedures
  • Equipment and furniture is ergonomically designed
  • Safety committees are in place
  • Worksites meet their regulatory obligations through WorkSafeBC

Health and wellness programs

Organizations with health and wellness programs are more likely to have a healthy workplace culture. Learn more about how to develop a health and wellness program for your district.

Learn more

There are many resources available that can help you promote a healthy workplace culture. Here are few places to start: