Our surveys come with superpowers ⚡

Blog Employee Experience

10 Reasons To Offer Employee Wellbeing At The Workplace

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

5 June 2024

8 min read

“Culture is a living, breathing entity that changes every day.”

That’s just one of the highlight lines from our conversation with Rachael Kelly on the healthy work culture and employee welfare. The Chief People & Culture Officer at Smokey Bones truly believes in the power of organizational culture and wellness initiatives to bring the best out of every employee. So, if you care about your employees and ultimately about your company’s growth, read until the very end. You’ll thank us later!

Employee Wellbeing. What is it?

Employee wellbeing basically means measuring your employee’s health. That includes their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It signifies the sustainability of employee engagement and shows whether they will maintain that over a certain period.

Employee wellbeing programs can be anything or of any type, some of which are:

  • Collaborative meetings
  • Healthy food at the workplace
  • Appreciation and shout out sessions
  • On-site gym or yoga classes
  • Offering regular health screenings
  • Access to therapists 24/7
  • Hand-out personalized training app
  • Stress management workshops, and a lot more.

10 Reasons To Offer Employee Wellbeing At Work

Time to discuss the elephant in the room. Here are the 10 reasons why employee wellbeing programs should be at the very top of any organization’s effort to boost retention and get sustained growth:

#1 Health Comes First!


That’s the percentage of employees suffering from high stress at work, according to the State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report by Gallup. That’s more than half the workers! Yes, the pandemic worsened the situation, but workplace-related stress was prevalent even before. The only good thing now is that most organizations have realized this, and they now work to give the best employee wellbeing in the workplace.

Mental health came into light during the coronavirus pandemic, but people’s physical health deteriorated, too. Medical costs of obese workers are higher by $1,429 compared to healthy employees, and obesity was a common problem in the WFH culture. And when the health, both mental and physical, is not good, employee absenteeism increases, which ultimately is a loss for any organization. So, the very first reason to offer well-structured employee wellbeing programs is to keep them completely healthy.

#2 The Perfect Culture

Rachael had her work cut out to rebuild the workplace culture after joining Smokey Bones in 2019. She and the leadership team did that spectacularly, even during a pandemic! She said she could never let a “good crisis go away” for bringing a healthy culture. She used an internal social media channel to keep all 3000+ employees at Smokey Bones connected. From the executive team to field employees, everyone shared regular updates there. This way everyone knows if someone was stressed or wanted a helping hand.

That’s what wellbeing initiatives do. People come together and develop a healthy environment, whether working from home or office. They push each other to do better, and there’s healthy competition brimming all around. That’s healthy work culture and a focus on employee wellbeing is the best way to do it.

#3 Boosted Employee Engagement

Do you know only 15% of employees engage well in a workplace? That’s according to Gallup’s. So, what about the rest 85%? It is no secret that employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Whether they work in a small business or a large corporation, it is their hard work and dedication that ultimately drives success. Thus, it is crucial that these employees be appreciated and well taken care of if we hope to maintain high levels of engagement and dedication. According to recent research, 69% of employees agree that this type of positive treatment is key to better performance.

One way to ensure that employees feel valued and respected is through the use of handwritten thank you notes. Sending handwritten notes not only conveys your appreciation but also serves as a powerful reminder that people’s contributions are valued and recognized. Thus, by taking such steps, organizations can go a long way towards creating a caring and supportive work environment where everyone feels valued and engaged.

At Smokey Bones, Rachael and the team daily monitor engagement levels through small pulse surveys, and they conduct a full-scale employee engagement survey quarterly. You can also do it using a tool like SurveySparrow if that’s what you were thinking.

Sign up for FREE here to create a similar employee engagement survey!

#4 Elevated Productivity

This is a no-brainer. When an employee is healthy and engaging well, productivity goes up naturally. That is because there’s no undue stress from the company, and they’re working to elevate your mental and physical health with superbly planned employee wellbeing programs.

Again, this does not mean it’ll stay the same forever. Conducting employee satisfaction surveys lets you know, as a leader, what employee initiatives are working, and what isn’t. Pivoting based on this regular influx of qualified data makes more sense. And just like the employee engagement surveys, SurveySparrow can help you with the satisfaction surveys, too. Yup, we’re the place to stop for all your survey needs!

#5 Job Satisfaction

“We promote a culture that talks about mental health at work to destigmatize that in our organization. What struck me so much from those conversations was how thankful our employees were that we understood and didn’t, or weren’t, judging them for it.”

That is what Rachael had to say when asked about the place of mental health in their company culture. Do you know how Smokey Bones benefited from such an employee wellbeing approach? Their turnover cost came massively down, boosting retention, and their recruitment spend didn’t even increase by a dime! So, they retained all their top talents while hiring more and keeping the costs low.

#6 Higher Retention

Before the pandemic, employees used to think long and hard before leaving a job. In 2022, this has completely changed. After the downsizing in companies globally, 2021 became the year of ‘great resignation’. Employees quickly left jobs that were stressful and impacting their mental health. And they were in no hurry to find a new one, too. They preferred waiting for companies that gave them the right culture while focusing on their wellness.

So, organizations that focused on employee wellbeing from the start enjoyed the highest retention and lowest turnover. We’ve believed that apt recognition satisfies employees the most, but in the last two years, employees were satisfied with human-centric leadership that focused on their wellness. After talking to Rachael on this, we believe that wellbeing in the workplace leads to increased employee retention. It’s a direct relationship.

#7 Happy Customers

Here’s a quick question for you;

What do healthy and satisfied employees bring to a company?

Yup, you guessed it right, happy customers. Employee wellbeing programs keep your customers happy. That is because when the employees are fully engaged and feel right at home with your company culture, they would radiate the same energy and happiness to your customers. They’ll serve them better and faster with a smile on their faces. Why on earth will customers not be satisfied, then?

#8 “More Customers”

“Hey, we’ve gained two new customers today. Did you notice?” An employee says.

“Yes, I did. More customers! They said they gave us a go because of our brand image. Can you believe it?” His colleague replies.

This conversation would go on for a few more minutes where they’ll talk about how the company’s brand image is helping them gain more new customers organically. The brand image gets built through many aspects over time. One crucial aspect is employee wellbeing.

When your company offers employee wellbeing programs that improve productivity and engagement for employees, the customers are kept happy. And the word spreads out. These happy customers keep your brand and employees in good light, attracting more (new) people. This attraction towards an employee-focused brand has increased post the pandemic, and people now love companies who practice empathy and value their employees.

#9 Greater Growth, Lower Costs

Greater growth, lower costs. That’s what every leader wants in their organization. A focus on employee wellbeing in the workplace is a sure-shot way to do that. How? Let’s see;

Employee wellbeing programs lead to more satisfied and engaged employees that boost productivity that saves cost.

Rightly structured employee wellbeing programs boost retention, which is a massive cost saver.

Through these wellness programs, the customers stay happy, too. Thanks to the employees.

The word gets out about these programs, which brings new customers. So, growth for the company organically.

There you go, growth while lowering cost. All because of the focus on employee wellbeing in the workplace.

#10 Employees Want It

That’s right, employees themselves want wellness programs done perfectly by their employer. The experts from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 59.4% of employees want good employee wellbeing programs.

What’s interesting is the fact that this analysis is from 2015. We’re in 2022 now, and employees globally have endured a pandemic (that’s still hasn’t ended) in this time, among other changes. So, this number would’ve gone up and gone up for good!

How To Ensure Your Employees Wellbeing?

We explained the need for employee wellbeing along with its definition, taking valuable pointers out of our conversation with Rachael Kelly, the Chief People Officer at Smokey Bones. But the conversation didn’t just end there, as she gave ways to ensure wellbeing in the workplace throughout the session. This section talks about those exact ways. Come on, let’s begin.

Collect Crucial Data

Rachael showed a great affinity with employee data, especially for gauging their satisfaction and engagement levels. As we mentioned earlier, at Smokey Bones, daily pulse surveys and quarterly employee engagement surveys were how data got collected. From her experience, this data helped her and the team in developing employee wellbeing programs that suited everyone. So, collecting crucial data is easily the first step to ensuring employee wellbeing in the workplace.

Promote Authenticity

“We are very committed to authenticity. We did not want to be like, ‘here’s our new thing’ because that doesn’t resonate with people.”

The next big talking point is authenticity, and this statement from Rachael, along with the subsequent conversation, proved that individual authenticity works best in giving the best environment for employee wellbeing programs to work. Every employee’s definition of wellbeing is different. Just building a program or running some wellness initiatives doesn’t work. For some, it can be just a free gym subscription, while for someone else, getting heard and feeling like they’re an integral part of the organization keeps them healthy.

So, use the collected data not only to find common trends but also to develop individual profiles to roll out specific employee wellbeing programs, too.

Encourage Employees

According to Rachael, building a healthy work culture is not a one-time or a single day’s process. It’s not like the leadership group defines a culture completely. It’s an iterative process that takes time and constant effort to take the right shape. And employees should be encouraged to help with shaping the workplace culture. This way, they feel involved in something big, something crucial, and this satisfies them while keeping them mentally fit and healthy. And as things are right now, mental health is just as important as physical help, and such encouragement helps massively in that.

Establish Seamless Communication

After the pandemic, there’s more disruption at work than ever. Remote work will stay, albeit in a hybrid manner, but the aspect that made remote work tough for some companies was improper communication between employees, teams, and their leaders. There just wasn’t a structure around how online communication will take place seamlessly, and a massive pool of employees felt left out because of it. Most mental health issues started when this feeling of isolation set in.

Therefore, allow internal communication to run well and ensure it stays the same for every employee. This is because, in remote work, the biggest struggle for employees is the lack of communication and collaboration. By facilitating seamless communication, you, as a leader, will alleviate one of the primary sources of work-related stress, hence boosting employee wellbeing.

Listen Empathetically

“I understand. I hear you and I’m here to support you.”

Just this one line from leaders is enough to boost the overall wellness of employees, says Rachael. At Smokey Bones, there were incidents during the pandemic where the employees didn’t agree on something with the CEO, and they told him about it. The CEO responded with this exact line, and what could’ve been a tricky situation gave employees a belief that they’re being heard with an open mind.

We would say, leave other employee wellbeing programs aside and just start listening to them because it matters a lot in the post-pandemic world.

Your Turn Now!

We gave you the reasons and top ways to ensure employee wellbeing in the workplace, courtesy, the brilliant Rachael! Honestly, we tried giving her views justice with this blog, but watching it will be a unique experience altogether. Do that and use it to shape your wellness programs perfectly because your employees deserve that!

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

Start your free trial today

No Credit Card Required. 14-Day Free Trial

Try For Free

Request a Demo

Want to learn more about SurveySparrow? We'll be in touch soon!

Request Demo