How Your Wellness Program Impacts Employee Retention

Sep 9

Read time:

We’ve done some research at Thriver into how a wellness program can positively impact your employee retention. Learn about our three big takeaways and how you can make your company more attractive in the marketplace.

The average person in the workforce will have 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetime. But as most employers know, it can be insanely expensive to replace a good employee, and extremely disruptive to morale, too. 

So, how do you get employees to stay? What’s the special sauce that keeps your team motivated, engaged and loyal? It turns out that just throwing a raise at top performers isn’t nearly enough to keep them on board. You need to go beyond. 

Over 80% of companies with 200 employees or more offer some version of a wellness program. Massive conglomerates like Google, Netflix and Zillow offer some of the most robust benefits and learning programs available on the market. And what do they all have in common? Some of the highest ratings on Glassdoor and employees that are ride-or-die for their companies. 

Here are some numbers on why investing in your employees’ growth pays off. (We did a deep dive into the research so that you don’t have to.) 

1. Satisfied employees are loyal employees

A Gallup survey conducted in 2017 found that a fair amount of people are unhappy with their jobs. About 85%. Ouch. Why are people so bummed to be at work? 

Biggest reasons for employee unhappiness boil down to a lack of clarity, lack of training, and promises that never materialize. Employee unhappiness is also contagious: if one team member is unhappy, everyone else around them begins to question if they should be unhappy and looking elsewhere, too. Dissatisfaction can be deadly to productivity: the US experiences a sum total of $7 trillion in lost productivity every year.  

One way to go about fostering a healthy sense of employee satisfaction is to be mindful of your employees’ financial burdens. Studies have shown that financial health is directly tied to mental health — 70% of employees identify a financial reason for their unhappiness. Benefits that can help ease the burden of financial stress, like offering complimentary food programs or a meal benefits card can drive employee happiness up by 31%, says consulting firm Kyosei Consulting. 

2. Getting engaged with employees gives you a chance to hear their thoughts

Your employees are smart people with good ideas — that’s why you hired them! — but are you taking the time to hear them out? Forget the pricey consultants and strategy meetings — the people on the ground floor, doing the work, probably have a good sense of things you could be doing to improve the company. Investing in experiences, like wellness retreats or offsite events, is really a re-investment back into your company because it allows everyone space to contribute. Ideas flow more freely when everyone is relaxed and having a good time. Setting aside even just a few hours a month for team-building exercises will allow your employees to view you as a confidante, and might give you generous insight into the direction your company’s headed.

As a side bonus, having a few off-work hours gives you the chance to praise your top performers, which is crucial if you want to keep the good ones around. 

3. It makes your company more attractive on the marketplace

Would you work at a company with abysmal Glassdoor reviews? Or a company that seems to have a revolving door of employees? Seems pretty sketchy, right? 

Having unhappy employees can seriously damage your credibility on the job marketplace, and make your company less desirable to prospective employees. When job seeking, millennials rate “culture and people fit” as their most important qualifier in accepting a job offer, according to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review. That’s right, feeling like a valued member of the team is rated as more important than a high salary and lots of vacation time. 

By nurturing your current employees personal and professional growth you are in turn,  attracting potential top talent. Your team is your greatest company asset — let them know how much they’re valued by investing time and resources into seeing them succeed.

Thriver icon

Related stories


Be the first to know about our latest articles and exciting news


Listen to our latest episodes on the Thriver Podcast

Thriver Platform

The trusted platform for thriving workplaces

Discover, book, and manage workplace culture services all in one place