The Wellness Solution: Attracting and Retaining Employees

by Greg Bambury

Build it and they will come.

This famous movie line rings true. When something is done right – tailored to meet the wants and needs of a particular group ¬– they will come.

When looking for solutions to attract and keep employees the same concept fits. Give the people what they want and they will come – and stay. So what do the people want?

What attracts employees? job interview

Years ago employee attraction and retention required a pretty simple solution – increase in salary. But these days, workers aren’t just looking at wages. Lifestyle and health supports are also playing a bigger role in decision making.

In a recent study two-thirds of respondents said that professional and personal life balance, advancement and professional development are all key influencers when they’re choosing a job.

Many baby boomers these days are also choosing to work beyond retirement age ¬– making wellness supports even more attractive to this group –and a big part of whether they will stick with their job. When looking at younger workers, wellness goes from something ‘good to have’ to an expectation. In another study we sponsored and took part in, about 61% of younger Canadians believe their employer has an obligation to assist them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What keeps employees?

It’s not enough to just promote wellness during a recruiting process or a few times a year to current employees – an organization has to live it. That means building a wellness strategy that is supported across the board by management and colleagues. It’s about creating aPeopleHavingFunAtWork2-300x300 corporate culture of wellness. A culture built on supporting, accommodating and encouraging employee mental and physical health in all parts of the business all the time.

The commitment to employee well-being has long-term benefits. It creates a bridge of loyalty and trust between the employee and employer. This bridge –along with a healthy work and life balance– keeps an employee engaged in their current position and less likely to look for another. It’s an approach that can mean reduced costs in terms of recruitment, training and turnover.

Wellness as part of your HR Strategy

Employers and HR professionals – along with support from their benefit provider – would be smart to make wellness an integrated part of their overall human resource strategy. Supporting the work-life balance and overall well-being of employees responds directly to the needs and wants of today’s labour market.

Start building and they will come.

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