How to Justify Spending Money on Workplace Wellness During a Recession

Jeff Archer
April 7, 2009 — 2,263 views  
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1. Surely Wellness isn't a priority right now?

Make no mistake, there is no better time to look after your employees than when the pressure is on and demands on them are greatest. If you're working with teams who've had their numbers cut, they need to be engaged and motivated to focus on the job and not on insecurities around them. If your initiatives are properly designed, they will have an immediate impact throughout the business and get great results. A downturn is when your people need support the most.

2. How do we ensure the wellness message is received positively?

Be strategic with your wellness program! You need to know why you're doing it and communicate the right information to your staff. If you're making the effort to create a positive and energetic culture within your organisation, tell everyone concerned. If you're doing it to ease the increased stress and burden staff may be feeling - tell them.

3. Wouldn't staff just prefer extra cash at the end of the month?

The reason most businesses don't simply offer more money is that extra pay can be a very short lived incentive while the right wellbeing initiatives provide staff with resources that generate personal benefits way beyond a few extra pounds each month. This is money well spent on building engagement, retention and loyalty as well as providing added value for employees.

4. How do we justify the extra spend internally and externally?

If you're concerned that the money you're planning to invest in wellness will come under scrutiny from your staff or from sources outside the business, particularly the media, make sure that everyone knows the full story. Be transparent about the positive intentions the company has for its culture and its people. Make it clear to staff that you've done your research and you're responding to what you know will improve happiness, motivation and performance levels within your business.

Explain to the media how every pound you're planning to invest in this area is designed to generate many more pounds when it comes to increasing productivity and morale, and reducing absence, turnover and recruitment costs. Wellness initiatives create greater efficiency which ultimately benefits everyone.

5. Is wellbeing the right place to be spending money?

Yes, if well planned. If you've done your homework you will be in a position to roll out a program that doesn't break the bank while ensuring that it is so well targeted to your employees' needs that each initiative generates a tangible return on investment.

6. How do I make the right decision about what to spend the money on?

Fancy initiatives that cost a fortune are no substitute for targeted initiatives that make a real difference. Bear in mind the following guidelines:

a. Use initiatives that get people excited and get people involved.

b. Incentivise your programme by recognising and rewarding those who take part. This needn't mean elaborate prizes but cost effective tokens of appreciation or even simply publicly acknowledged success stories that get staff engaged and create a brilliant buzz around your office.

c. Think it through and talk it through. The Tonic can help you implement a program either as part of your current training modules or as stand-alone initiatives.

Contact us now at [email protected] if you'd like to learn more about how a tailored wellbeing programme from The Tonic will improve the motivation, performance and engagement in your workplace right away.

Jeff Archer is the Director of The Tonic, a corporate health and wellness company.

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Jeff Archer