This Palm Beach hotel has some of the happiest employees and guests in America. That's because they've made wellness a business imperative.
Wellness programs get mixed reviews, but Breakers Palm Beach, an upscale Florida resort, shows they can work. The bragging rights they've earned with their programs includes:
- A 4:1 return on investment based on healthcare savings
- Turnover that's 55% lower than peers
- A 30:1 ratio of applications received to jobs posted
- 92% of employees calling it a great place to work
The difference, according to Leigh Stringer the author of this Slate article, lies in management's deep commitment to the belief that happy employees make for happy customers.
Support for its broad-based health and wellness programs comes from the very top of the organization, the family who owns the resort and its top executives. It takes more than just offering gym privileges, flexible hours, and remote work options, reports Stringer. It takes a culture that gives employees permission to take advantage of the offerings.
GSA's Sustainable Facilities Tool was designed to help federal agencies and the general public build and buy green.
GSA's SFTool (Sustainability Facilities) just got better with the addition of four new tools:
- The Buildings and Health Module highlights the financial benefits and shares best practices in making buildings healthier for their occupants
- A synopsis of how biophilia impacts health outcomes
- A primer on Circadian Light
- An interactive Health and Wellness Guidance Crosswalk which provides an easy-to-use way to compare sustainability and wellness rating systems across a broad range of criteria
The site also offer a wealth of research citations and additional resources all for free (well, sort of, if you don't count your tax dollars.)
"Americans took more than 500 million domestic business trips in 2016. And while many workplace health programs for business travel provide immunizations, information about avoiding food-borne illness, and alerts about civil or political unrest, few focus on a more a common threat to health: the stress, sleep interruption, unhealthy eating and drinking, and lack of exercise that are common side effects of being on the road."
The study found that compared to those who spent 6 nights or less away from home, those who traveled for business 14 or more nights a month had higher body mass scores and were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence, physical inactivity, and poor sleep. For extreme travelers, those who spent 21 or more nights a month traveling for business, were 92% more likely to be obese.
The HBR article suggests employers:
- Rethink the need for employee travel
- Increase employee awareness of the need to eat, exercise and sleep well while traveling
- Provide stress management and sleep hygiene training
- Book travelers at hotels that offer fitness options and/or provide gym memberships they can use wherever they travel
"The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) survey takes an in-depth look at the role of benefits in defining and differentiating today’s employee value proposition.
The high cost of poor health is just one of the many startling findings in Willis Towers Watson's biennial survey of over 31,000 global employees. In particular, when compared to employees in good health, those in poor health:
- Take twice the number sick days
- Are twice as likely to be disengaged
- Three times more likely to report above-average or high stress
Employees with financial worries fare even worse than those with poor physical health. That's critical because financial well-being has taken a nose-dive in most developed countries.
- In the U.S, short-term financial security dropped 13 percentage points between 2015 and 2017 (from 48% to 38% reporting they feel secure).
- More than half of global employees live from paycheck to paycheck and report they'd be unable to come up with $2k if they suddenly needed it.
In spite of all the attention employers are paying to health and well-being programs, less than a third of U.S., Canada, and EMEA employees feel the initiatives have helped them live healthier lives.
The report suggests employers focus on:
- Financial counseling, tools, and training
- Flexibility and choice among well-being programs
- Increasing employee engagement with programs
"Kate Lister breaks down the impact of the workplace on well-being and the steps to take to create a culture of well-being."
This article offers:
- The financial impact of of poor health and well-being on productivity lost, reduced engagement, and turnover
- The cost of healthcare, absenteeism, and presenteeism for the top chronic diseases
- A persuasive way to use a simple breakeven analysis to get your program funded
- Simple steps to kick-start a workplace well-being initiative.