Employee Health & Wellness
With the unemployment rate at historical lows, it’s becoming more challenging for employers to attract and retain talent. Employers are looking for the right employee, while many employees are seeking the right job. The gig economy has many juggling jobs, while a push for increased productivity puts pressure on the gainfully employed. It doesn’t matter the location or profession; people are sharing stories of workplace stress.
An article in the Harvard Gazette titled the “The high price of Workplace Stress” explored the many factors that influence an employee’s mental health. Also, there’s acknowledgment that employees are whole beings who bring their personal stressors to work. I’m sure that we all know the co-worker who’s juggling work, children, elderly parents, rising expenses, and the list goes on. Because their personal concerns don’t magically disappear when they show up for work, there’s the compounded effect of people feeling overwhelmed.
Per the Harvard Gazette article,“Most U.S. companies have long viewed their responsibility to employee health and well-being at arm’s length, as an act of largesse that often begins and ends with perquisites like medical insurance, a few paid sick days, or maybe discounts on gym memberships. But data show that 36 percent of workers suffer from work-related stress that costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays” Thus, there’s an economic cost.
Helping one’s employees develop and manage stress should be at the top of an organization’s priorities. I use the phrase “organization” to capture all entities with employees. Conversations with doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, corporate executives, taxi drivers, social workers, etc., all describe stress. Progressive organizations are offering employee programs to support work-life balance. Perks such as healthy meals, recreation, yoga and meditation rooms are a few of the offerings. Such programs help their employees and make them more attractive to job candidates.
Introducing meditation to the workplace can positively impact the balance sheet, by cutting into the $30 billion a year in lost workdays. Imagine a happier more content employee with better physical and emotional health. Meditation is an antidote to stress, that can positively impact employee health and outlook.
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