For generations, the speed of life has changed and individuals have spent more and more money on their health and wellness.

As technology has advanced, access to information has increased and we now have ready access to information globally.

Despite this, people around the world are more unhealthy than ever before, and they’re facing more serious disease and health crises than previously seen.

“I’m so stressed …” has become one of the most commonly spoken phrases, and it’s used by almost every one, often multiple times a day.

People are unwell, they’re stressed and they’re exhausted – and they’re bringing it to work with them.

Organisations are now faced with unhealthy workplaces and it’s seriously affecting productivity, with almost every organisation forced into a place of reactionary management to try and get it under control.

Research in this field is being conducted continuously around the globe, some with an international focus and others with a concentration on country-centric issues. No matter the breadth of the focus, the results are generally the same:

  • More than 40% of workers believe that poor leadership at their workplace is the most stressful part of their job, and will seek to change their employment at the start of each new year;
  • More than 40% of all workers believe that they feel a lot of ‘negative energy’ in the workplace and will seek to change their employment at the start of each new year;
  • Over half of all workers believe that the increasing rate of change and complexity at work is correlated with job dissatisfaction and more frequent high levels of stress at work;
  • Almost 60% of employed adults do not believe they are working productively most of the time;
  • Almost 30% of workers report feeling a high amount of stress often or always at work, with another 40% reporting they feel a high amount of stress sometimes;
  • Full time workers are more stressed than their part-time and self-employed counterparts; and Managers who have direct reports are more stressed than those without any direct reports.

How do you fix this moving forwards?

These statistics are reflective of the global epidemic we are now experiencing, and unless organisations take a direct role in creating a holistic and individualised health and wellbeing plan to assist their employees, these statistics will continue to worsen.

Research conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) shows that for every dollar you spend on increaseing the health and wellbeing of your workforce, you can receive (on average) a positive return on your investment of $2.30.

To date, a lot of the corporate training solutions that have been offered have provided training at the group level. However, it is the ability for each individual to tailor-make a health and wellness solution that is perfect for them that truly allows an organisation to improve their collective wellness.

The research shows that employees whose organisations assist them in creating a healthy and balanced life are more engaged. The most efficient way for an organisation to do this is to create a bespoke health and wellness plan that is as unique as the people who are working for them.

How do you create a health and wellness plan without it costing a fortune?

For most organisations budgets are already stretched thin, so the thought of having to carry the cost of creating, implementing and maintaining a bespoke health and wellness plan can make it all seem way too hard.

Every organisation is different, and every organisation needs to determine the level of investment they want, and are able, to make.

Not every health and wellness activity has to cost of a lot of time and/or money. There are lots of low cost (or no cost) activities that your organisation can engage in that don’t require a lot of money, but can promote the health and wellbeing of employees and create engagement and participation from the workforce.

Whatever decision is made by the organisation on availability of resources, the ultimate aim of any health and wellness program needs to be supported by an openly stated and strongly supported value that shows the organisation believes in the importance of health and wellbeing.

Three simple steps to getting started on your health and wellness journey

  1. Adopt and fully support health and wellbeing – and actively role model this from the very top of the organisation.
  2. Create an organisational health and wellness plan.
  3. Make health and wellness a core component of your overall strategic plan.

If you’re confident in the planning process then there are template organisational health and wellness planning kits available in the marketplace (like mine) that can take you through the planning steps. Otherwise you can engage a specialist to take you through the process of creating your plan.

It doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be complex and it definitely doesn’t have to cost lots of money. But it does have to be done if you want to re-engage the individuals in your workplace, assist them to move their health and wellbeing in a different way and move your productivity in a positive direction.