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Don't Underestimate The Importance of Employee Wellbeing. Your Business Will Suffer The Most. These insights explore the tangible benefits of integrating wellness tools into leadership development programs for business success.

By Victoria Repa Edited by Maria Bailey

Key Takeaways

  • Multiple case studies give insight into workplace wellness's positive, tangible benefits to employee engagement, productivity and overall business growth.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship, one critical yet often overlooked aspect is the workforce's wellbeing. Where success is driven by constant innovation and growth, wellness often falls short. The barriers to investment in workplace mental and physical health remain significant.

So why do these limitations still remain? From insufficient knowledge of the best practices to scarce research on why such investments have a positive impact, this topic is still full of prejudices and stereotypes. As a result, they hinder many entrepreneurs from prioritizing this vital area of their business growth.

The growing mental strain many employees experience often drives them to lower performance, meaning the business is presented with the threat of losing its valuable workforce. At the same time, replacing an employee with a new hire is not only a logistical challenge but also a costly affair. It typically costs one-half to two times that employee's annual pay. With talent at a premium and the competitive landscape intensifying, you can expect the financial toll to lean toward the higher end of the spectrum. This cost can go unnoticed without paying enough attention to the wellness costs of operating a business.

Undoubtedly, all entrepreneurs understand the significance of assembling a talented and motivated long-term team. However, the true impact of neglecting employees' wellbeing on the overall success of a business is often underestimated. Fostering a healthy environment is the future of workplaces worldwide, so explore the tangible benefits of integrating it now.

Related: We Need a Real Commitment to Mental Health at Work. Here's How (and Why).

The wellbeing of leaders amounts to the wellbeing of the entire team

Investment in yourself is the best investment, particularly for the people who drive the entire workforce with them. Any great organization starts from a leader; similarly, the leader's wellbeing and resilience directly impact that business's success. Here are a few ways that a leader's wellness affects the bigger picture:

1. Improving retention rates

This is not evident, but investing in leaders' health also indirectly impacts employee retention rates. When leaders show genuine care and support for their team members' mental and emotional wellbeing, it fosters job satisfaction and loyalty. Employees are more likely to stay with the company, reducing turnover and retaining top talent.

2. Prioritizing human-centered approach

A human-centered approach is essential when building a business. Being mindful of their own wellbeing allows leaders to understand their team better and be more empathetic and connected to them. For example, 10 people who joined BetterMe right from the start are still a part of the team years later.

3. Leading effectively in challenging times

Leaders who prioritize their stability possess the skills needed to navigate difficult situations. They can manage stress, make informed decisions, and stay composed under pressure. Resilience enables them to guide their teams through challenging times, inspiring confidence and giving energy to overcome fear.

Making wellness a priority: Let's talk numbers

Prioritizing wellness and resilience in leadership development is not just a good idea on paper. It has proven to yield substantial returns on investment (ROI) for organizations. Multiple case studies give insight into workplace wellness's positive, tangible benefits to employee engagement, productivity and overall business growth.

Let's take research conducted by Gallup, a leading analytics and advisory company, as an example. Its study reveals a strong correlation between employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives. Companies with high employee engagement experience significant benefits, reporting 41% lower absenteeism rates and 17% higher productivity. These findings show a direct correlation between such targeted initiatives and business performance. Research proves it's an important metric to start taking seriously.

BetterMe, with its headquarters in a country amid war and crisis, provides a compelling case study of how prioritizing wellness and resilience in leadership development can lead to exceptional growth, even in challenging circumstances. Despite the adversity, the BetterMe team members demonstrated innovation and creativity in providing solutions for customers worldwide. As a result, the company experienced significant financial and headcount growth in 2022, reaching an impressive 20%.

This case again shows that crises can be both tests and opportunities for growth. It only emphasizes how organizations handle challenging situations. By investing in leadership development programs prioritizing wellness and resilience, companies can equip their leaders with the skills to navigate crises effectively, manage their energy better (not time), and drive business growth.

Related: Why Mental Health and Well-Being Should Be Your Top Recruitment and Retention Priority

Corporate wellness: Create a business case

As the topic of corporate wellness continues to grow, organizations are seeking ways to measure the impact of wellness tools on leadership effectiveness. Seeing the evidence can help them realize the potential benefits and make an informed decision toward that first step.

One effective way to measure the impact of wellness tools on leadership effectiveness is through ROI analysis. According to Deloitte, companies implementing wellness programs for three or more years achieved a median yearly ROI of $2.18 CA (estimated $1.65 USD). We cannot argue with numbers — the benefits are evident.

As the CEO of BetterMe, I myself can serve as an example for all these findings. Through consultations with various companies, I have observed a considerable demand for reliable and engaging corporate wellness programs. Simply put, wellness is a hot topic in the business world. With a potential boost of over 50%, it becomes clear that the returns on investing in wellness are worth serious consideration.

Seeing the indisputable benefits of integrating the employees' wellbeing as one of the business priorities, a few industry professionals can remain indifferent. Whether you're a manager, a business, or a team leader – hop on that train. Explore new possibilities for growing a prosperous, healthy workforce by all means to build better businesses.

Victoria Repa

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Health Coach

CEO and Founder of BetterMe, a health & wellness platform providing a tailored holistic approach to wellbeing. Since 2017 it has been on a mission to create a healthier world for everyone, regardless of age, sex, physical ability or background.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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