Holistically healthy employees are more engaged and productive

Employers | | 2 min read

A manager sitting at a desk and talking with his employees  during a meeting at the office.

Employers are recognising that they play a vital role in supporting their employees’ wellbeing – both as a preventative measure and to assist employees who may be struggling. According to the MetLife 2022 Australian Employee Benefits Trend Study,1 more than three in four employers agree that improving the overall health of employees in the workplace is a top benefits objective.

The term ‘holistically healthy’ means that employees rated themselves as either healthy or very healthy across the four aspects of health in MetLife’s study:

  • Mental health is the condition of psychological and emotional wellbeing.
  • Social health is the ability to form satisfying personal relationships with others.
  • Physical health is the level of illness, injury and general lifestyle.
  • Financial health is the state of personal and family financial security.

The results reveal that only 38% of Australians claim to be holistically healthy, which is a 2% increase from 2020.

Having holistically healthy employees is as beneficial for the employer as it is for the employees. Respondents who rated themselves as holistically healthy are more likely to be productive (88%), feel engaged (87%), feel resilient (83%), and be satisfied in their current job (82%). In good news for employers, 80% of these holistically healthy employees are likely to still be in the same job in 12 months’ time.

Helping employees improve their health and wellbeing

While every employee is different, there are some simple strategies that can help reduce workplace stress and increase job satisfaction.

In the MetLife study, 62% of employees ranked work/life management benefits like flexible hours, time-management programs, and financial allowance for home office set-up in the top three offerings that would most improve their overall wellbeing.

Other research suggests that employees respond positively to increasing worker autonomy, maintaining an adequate level of staffing to control workloads, and taking steps to foster a sense of social belonging among employees.2

Introducing strategies designed to improve employees’ health and wellbeing in the short term is a beneficial investment that will likely result in positive organisational outcomes over the long term.

1 Online studies were commissioned by MetLife and conducted by independent researcher Little Triggers. The employer survey included 329 respondents with benefits decision-makers and influencers at Australian-based companies with at least two employees. The employee survey included 1,023 respondents with a mix of full-time and part-time employees at Australian-based companies. Representative sample across age, gender, industry, geography and company size.

2 Harvard Business Review, 7 Strategies to Improve Your Employees’ Health and Well-Being, 12 October 2021