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The Rise of Corporate Wellness to Support Employee Retention



I have had the opportunity to speak to dozens of business owners, as well as human resource (HR) and talent acquisition specialists in the last 2.5 years, and one common challenge that they face for the business is employee retention. This common challenge is faced not just by multinational companies (MNCs), but also by small-medium local enterprises (SMEs) and startups.


So if you’re a business owner and/or HR specialist, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. It is not you or your company shortcoming, and it is definitely also not personal.



There are a diverse range of needs that your workforce needs and are looking for support in, and these would also differ greatly in mindset from the fresh millennial graduate all the way to the long service award employee of thirty-five years. An area of focus where some organisations have found strong and credible solutions has been through Corporate Wellness initiatives. Some have robust Corporate Wellness frameworks that they’ve developed over the years, whilst others adopt a more ad-hoc and less frequent approach to these initiatives.


This article will outline the reasons why Corporate Wellness supports employee retention, and also what first steps you might want to take if you have not already embarked on this journey for your organisation.



Employee Engagement

Research and case studies have shown that Corporate Wellness initiatives provide the best opportunities for employees to interact and have internal as well as cross department communications. These could be structured into regular activities, or they could be ad-hoc or only conducted yearly.


The mode at which Corporate Wellness initiatives are rolled out can also be explored to be in-person or virtual/online. Each has their own sets of challenges as well as benefits and much depends on the culture of the organisation to begin with. The engagement levels in each organisation through various modes could be as low as 3% and as high as 80%.


Start with understanding what the employees want and need, before attempting to start weekly fitness classes or ad-hoc lunch-time wellness talks and momentary feel-good fun-filled bazaars and workshops. Learn more about our 9PQ Wellbeing assessment here.


With a robust company-wide Corporate Wellness programme in place, majority of engaged employees will feel less push towards looking for a new job, and this contributes to employee retention.



Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DE&I)

DE&I has been a buzz-word in organisation in the last few years. Does your organisation have DE&I policies put in place to cater to minorities and are there sufficient opportunities for such conversations to be openly experienced?


Corporate Wellness initiatives provide the vehicle to have either DE&I-focused activities, or to always have the DE&I objective as an underlying focus with each activity that is envisioned and eventually rolled out.


These include in-person opportunities to interact with one another on a more personal level, rather than just through work-related communications via email or meetings. Intentional creation of these activities, whether in-person or virtual, helped create that inclusive environment where employees feel like they belong. This once again contributes to employee retention.



Vibrant Culture

Both earlier points if done well, together with the support of leadership and management, will help build a vibrant culture that allows for employees to thrive.


The culture within an organisation can be seen, felt and experienced not just by employees, but also by stakeholders, vendors and the public. Statistics show that companies with a vibrant and robust culture have 72% higher employee engagement. This puts the organisation within the top percentile in terms of employee engagement.


A robust and vibrant culture is not just reason for not having a “push” factor to employees leaving the organisation, but more of a “pull” factor to create demand and to attract talent.



Employer Branding

Which brings us to our last point on employer branding.


Corporate Wellness initiatives create opportunities for employee engagement, which allow for intentional inclusion of DE&I activities. Each of these contribute to a robust and vibrant workplace culture that directly elevates employer branding by attracting top talent.


Everybody wants to work in an organisation with a positive work culture that allows them to enjoy the work they do and to thrive. Start with Corporate Wellness to kickstart that process with these objectives in mind.


The rise of Corporate Wellness to support employee retention not only helps lower the talent acquisition cost, but also contributes to increased productivity and therefore higher top-line growth!


If you enjoyed this article and found the information useful, do follow us for regular wellness and wellbeing content. Drop me an email at alex.loh@actxawellness.com if you'd like to have a conversation on how you can elevate wellbeing at your workplace through a clearly defined Corporate Wellness framework with long term Wellbeing strategy.


About the Writer

Alex’s compass is guided by the desire to help people. This is the driving force that allows him to focus on helping organisations harness fitness, health and wellness as the vehicles to building sustainable solutions. He is the CEO and Co-founder at Actxa Wellness, where he also leads as Chief Wellbeing Strategist. Together with the team, they provide products and services as Wellness Consultants for organisations, where they identify gaps and work with HR professionals to co-create corporate wellness solutions to improve employee engagement and wellbeing.

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