CHAPTER 12 Employee Wellness, Health, and Safety to Drive Business Performance and Loyalty

Always do what’s right; this will gratify some and astonish the rest.

—Albert Einstein

In the previous chapters of this book, we discussed how people are the most important asset of any organization; they lead, innovate, and drive performance. Your workforce helps your organization to compete in an aggressive marketplace and ultimately succeed. In order to accomplish this critical mission of delivering the best performance and productivity possible, companies need to provide their workforces with high standards of wellness, health, and a safe environment.

While some organizations still view employee wellness programs as just a nice-to-have perk, a cool extra, another costly employee benefit, or, according to Lewis and Khanna,1 “an employee control tool” and “a marketing tool for health plans,” other organizations are fully integrating wellness programs as a strategic business imperative. According to a 2013 RAND study2 commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today nearly 80 percent of people who work for organizations with 50 or more employees have access to a corporate wellness program.

Immediately following the 2008 financial crisis, the number one priority for the majority of companies was to get back to productivity and profitability as soon as possible, and they did this by focusing solely on meeting their financial objectives ...

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