Well-Being in the Workplace Part 1/2: Why You Might Need a Well-Being Program

Over the past few weeks, we’ve done a deep dive on safety in the workplace, but in the next two posts we’ll shift our focus to a related concept: well-being.

Many companies have expanded their well-being programs in response to rising pressures on their employee’s mental and physical health. Among companies with 1,000 employees or more, the likelihood of offering a wellness program ranges from 85%-91%. While these programs are more common at larger businesses, they can have a big impact on small businesses as well.

It’s easy to conflate wellness with well-being. Wellness refers to a state of physical health in which people are able to do what they want. This is just one aspect of an employees’ overall well-being. Recently, employers have pivoted toward holistic programs that take a rounded view of what it means to thrive as a person. For example, they consider ways to enhance social well-being (having meaningful relationships), financial well-being (financial stability and money management skills), and career well-being (happiness and engagement at work). Physical wellness is just one piece of the puzzle, and it is not sufficient on its own. A Gallup survey found that people who were only thriving physically still missed work due to poor health and were more likely than those thriving on multiple measures to file compensation claims, change employers, or seek out new ones.

Because of this, organizations should ensure that their employees are thriving along multiple well-being metrics. This is why we have seen increased investment not only in employees’ physical wellness, but in mental health care, financial literacy, and company culture as well. People who are thriving in life make for better employees. Just think, it’s difficult to excel inside of work if one is struggling or suffering outside of it.

Companies sometimes strive for employee engagement above all; however, an engaged employee is not necessarily a productive one. If workers are engaged but not thriving, then they are much more susceptible to anger at work, stress, worry, and ultimately burnout. When it comes to their employees’ happiness and productivity, companies ought to be interested in the well-being of the whole person, both in and outside of work.

Employee well-being is crucial to business success. A company cannot compete and thrive with struggling workers. By proactively addressing the risks of low employee well-being, businesses can improve productivity, attract new talent, and get the edge over their competitors. Investing in a wellness program is a great way to achieve these goals.








Gallup (no date). What is Organizational Culture and Why Does it Matter? Available at: What Is Organizational Culture, and Why Does It Matter? – Gallup (Accessed 8/1/2023).

Harter, J. (2020) ‘Thriving Employees Create a Thriving Business’, Gallup. Available at: Thriving Employees Create a Thriving Business (gallup.com)

Miller, S. (2020) ‘Wellness Programs Show Modest Benefits, as Efforts Pivot to “Well-Being'”‘, SHRM. Available at: Wellness Programs Show Modest Benefits, as Efforts Pivot to ‘Well-Being’ (shrm.org)

Mattke S, Liu H, Caloyeras J, Huang CY, Van Busum KR, Khodyakov D, Shier V. (2013) ‘Workplace Wellness Programs Study: Final Report’, Rand Health Quarterly. Jun 1;3(2):7. Available at: Workplace Wellness Programs Study – PMC (nih.gov)

Pendell, R (2021) ‘Wellness vs. Wellbeing: What’s the Difference?’, Gallup. Available at: Wellness vs. Wellbeing: What’s the Difference? (gallup.com)

Wolf, R. (2019) ‘The Wellbeing Initiative Your Organization Needs’ Gallup. Available at: The Wellbeing Initiative Your Organization Needs (gallup.com)