How Health and Wellness Play a Role in Business Growth

By Paula Erwing

Generally, maintaining good health is important for a number of reasons. It prevents chronic diseases and long-term illnesses while boosting your self-esteem. Being in optimal health also supports mental clarity and alertness that can help you stay productive and leave good first impressions on people you interact with. As such, it can be said that having good health leads to a productive and enriching life since it improves your social relationships and can support work performance.

Given the role of wellness in work, there should be more focus on employee well-being within businesses. After all, workers and employees are essentially the life force that supports the growth of an enterprise. Manpower and talent are valuable assets that any business can have, which is why investing in the health and nutrition of your employees should be a priority if you want to have a successful business.

The Role of Health and Wellness in Business

On a personal level, poor employee health means they are more likely to get sick and miss work. This can significantly impact their productivity and delay the prompt delivery of services, whether it be their work output or customer engagement. These health issues not only pose risks to employees but also create additional costs for businesses. For one thing, employees in poor condition cost their employers money in health care costs. The more employees without optimal health, the more is spent to cover their medical needs. Moreover, you would have to find a replacement to cover employees on sick leave, which could increase hiring costs and the overall employee turnover rate. Work issues like this will impede the growth of your business and complicate the workflow you have in place.

In line with this, 79% of Canadian companies say that employee well-being is important, and around 90% of business leaders have at least one initiative to support worker health. However, only 54% of employers actually implement a strategy in place that advocates for employee well-being. This calls for further improvements in the workplace, as the Canadian Institute for Health Information cites that companies lose an estimated $16.6 billion in productivity per year due to workers calling in sick.

How Business Leaders Can Improve

Presently, there are many different ways business leaders can implement strategies to support employee well-being. Here we have compiled a few ways to help you get started.

Support Healthy Eating Habits

Unhealthy food is currently becoming more prevalent in Canada, as rising costs are affecting access to more nutrient-rich food that supports a healthy lifestyle. This also contributes to the rising rates of weight and diet-related diseases. As a business owner, you can encourage healthy eating in the workplace by providing well-balanced catered meals, healthy snacks, or lunch benefits. Not only does this support employee well-being, but it also creates a more welcoming environment within the workplace since people can bond over meals during break times. A good working environment can bolster productivity and lower employee turnover rates, which can benefit your business in the long run.

Provide Wellness Initiatives

Besides nutrition, it’s also good to support employee health by providing initiatives that can improve work culture and prioritize well-being. Employers can look into wellness programs, which are usually available as wellness workshops that have activities designed to improve and support the well-being of employees. Some of them are geared towards exercise plans, while others can offer group meditation sessions or even physical wellness for weight loss.

These workshops are also accessible across the country. To illustrate, employers can search for “healthy living workshops near me” to see a number of results to get their team started. These dedicated workshops can be scheduled in person, where employees can receive face-to-face support and connection from their workshop group. Alternatively, they can also avail of virtual workshops that offer the same perks of having tailored advice from real people, just done through the screen. Some workshops even pair participants with coaches who can help them reach their personal goals. Not only can joining such wellness workshops boost employee confidence, but having the right initiatives can improve their overall productivity and help your business grow.

Establish an Employee Assistance Program

In addition to wellness, many companies use an employee assistance program (EAP) to support workplace mental health. By definition, EAPs typically provide a wide range of services and resources to both employers and employees to support overall workplace functioning. They can offer counseling for mental or emotional problems while providing training and consultations for managers and supervisors to address existing organizational concerns. Offering this resource to your employees can improve their well-being and provide a healthy environment that is conducive to productivity, collaboration, and creativity to support the gains of your business.


Leap of the Week

There are various ways in which companies can support the health of their employees, with different approaches to suit each workplace. Start with understanding why employee health is something that should be prioritized, and then proceed with identifying the various needs of the employees. These can range from simple changes, such as providing healthy options in the office cafeteria, to more elaborate programs with resources to support employees’ mental and emotional health. By putting a focus on employee health both for the sake of their own well-being and to support the growth of the company, businesses can better avoid any hindrances when it comes to work productivity.


Written by Paula Erwing.

Paula Erwing is a freelance writer and researcher specializing in topics related to health. She is an advocate for making wellness more accessible and uses her writing to help others learn about the importance of leading healthier lives. When she’s not working on her latest article, Paula is at home trying out new vegetarian recipes with her local community garden group.