Poor employee productivity means the employee is physically at work but not working and this is called PRESENTEEISM. Some studies have highlighted the cost of presenteeism due to poor employee health is at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses.
However, the employers mostly focus on direct cost, and the cost of presenteeism doesn’t receive enough attention as they are working to reduce the direct health care cost for an employee with poor health. The main reason is that it is not measured expense or it doesn’t show up on the balance sheets/ profit lost statement of the company.
Only a few companies have started to take a look at the effect of presenteeism, and now there is evidence to show that employee wellness programs are one of the strategies to reduce the cost of Presenteeism. And the data shows that the companies have gained significant gain in the productivity of employees at the worksites where the wellness programs are conducted.
A survey called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) to monitor well-being among communities throughout the United States by conducting 1,000 daily interviews. Numerous employers started using the wellbeing assessment to measure not just the health and wellbeing of employees but also presenteeism of the employees as well.
The top 20% were considered as having high presenteeism. And based on these multiple comparisons were made to understand the relationship between employee health and presenteeism and how being part of employee wellness programs can help them improve productivity. Based on which the following 3 findings were there:
- Smoker and Tobacco Chewers had 28% more presenteeism than those who don’t.
- An employee with an unhealthy diet had 66% more presenteeism than those who eat healthily.
- Employees who don’t exercise had 50% more presenteeism than those who did.
And this should include both physical and mental employee wellness as it has been observed that because of depression the presenteeism can go up to 131%, which is a lot of indirect cost to the company.
There are many attestations to which call attention to the fact that properly implemented employee wellness programs can boost employees’ health and productivity. And there is also shreds of evidence which shows the reduction in presenteeism as well. However, many employers are still skeptical to fully implement the wellness activities thinking if they will get a tangible improvement.
Top 3 wellness programs which we believe can be conducted to get better results at minimal cost
- Yoga Training – These can also be conducted online on holidays and employees can practice it daily. An Employee can focus on his/her yoga depending on her condition.
- Healthy Food available at Canteens – Remove all the junk foods. Only keep healthy food and snacks available at company canteens.
- Wellness challenges – Can keep wellness challenges like steps walked in a month. And providing an incentive to the winner can encourage the employees to participate more.