People Analytics: Key to Employee Wellness & Productivity

Now is the time to act. According to a recent poll of 9,000 employees worldwide conducted by Gympass, a platform for employee well-being, over half of the employees (48%) believe that their well-being worsened in 2022, with 28% stating that they are unhappy at work. 

With the job market in the post-pandemic era still recovering from rounds of layoffs, it’s no surprise that the crisis of employee well-being is putting a strain on companies. The management is now concentrating on keeping their businesses afloat while ensuring their employees are well taken care of.

Additionally, recent data from Gallup indicates that employee stress levels are at an all-time high, with 60% of employees feeling emotionally disengaged from their current roles in the workplace. 

With engagement and productivity levels nosediving due to stress, burnout, and a general sense of uncertainty, it’s up to leadership to take charge and guide their employees through these trying times. But how can companies do this?

We’ve collected the latest data and recommendations to help you build a healthier workplace. So, let’s explore the key role people analytics plays in improving employee well-being and productivity.

Why Employee Wellness Matters?

Investing in employee wellness programs not only has a philanthropic element but also benefits businesses in the long run. Employees who are not physically or mentally well are unable to work up to their full potential, which can negatively affect business operations and processes. 

Conditions like depression, anxiety, and burnout can lead to sub-par performance, absenteeism, and even medical issues like diabetes and hypertension. These issues can ultimately result in higher costs or substantial losses for the business.

Employers’ best interest is to ensure that employees bring their best selves into the office, whether real or virtual, improve their skills, mental and physical abilities, and foster healthy habits together through various joint activities and perks like fitness and mindful practices, etc. 

Proactively fostering healthy habits among employees can lead to a healthier workplace environment overall. At the same time, ignoring employee wellness can have severe consequences, including attrition, absenteeism, and other issues, that cost HR departments in the US an average of $4000 per employee, with a 24-day replacement search span. 

By providing opportunities for employees to improve their physical and mental well-being, companies can reap the rewards of improved employee performance and overall company success that benefits everyone involved.

How Can People Analytics Help?

An evidence-based strategy to keep the leadership team in check with employee sentiment is critical in the world of ongoing transformation. That’s where people analytics comes in. 

Leveraging tools like Performica allows decision-makers to gather accurate and actionable data to address crises head-on. But it’s important to note that the goal of people analytics isn’t to single out individuals but to identify situations and processes that need improvement and support employees accordingly. 

Ultimately, the insights from HR data help organizations create the best possible work environments for their employees to thrive in. People analytics can help you advance in three key areas: knowing, monitoring, and planning.

Knowing

While some wellness data would be considered confidential, you can derive key insights from certain pieces of information. You can better understand your employee’s performance and development, including their physical and mental wellness, such as disabilities, diseases, and possible or frequent injuries (in case employees are engaged in on-sight physical labor). 

This information can be used to tailor workplace wellness programs to their specific needs once you identify employees that suffer from stress or demotivation and pinpoint the cause. In some cases, data can introduce a conversation and lead to company-wide policy adjustments if needed to address wellness issues otherwise unseen at the workplace.

Monitoring

By monitoring data such as attendance and productivity, you can identify underperforming employees and help them find solutions or enroll them in wellness programs. Additionally, reports on company events like team building sessions can provide insights into your wellness initiatives’ performance.

Planning

To identify the most pressing issues that need to be addressed, managers can conduct surveys, polls, and ideally 360° feedback to gain employee insights. This feedback is essential in prioritizing wellness initiatives and activities that will benefit the company as a whole. 

Would its aim be to reduce attrition, general employee well-being, or team building? That solely depends on the quality of the data that your people analytics tool can provide. The more comprehensive and detailed the data, the easier it will be to evaluate the future wellness program’s return on investment.

If you already have an employee wellness program, don’t worry; it’s always possible to improve it. Using people analytics, you can identify ways to improve the current program or even create new ones customized to fit your employees’ unique needs. By doing so, you can expect better productivity, increased engagement, and reduced losses due to employee absenteeism.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, ignoring HR data analytics means missing opportunities to engage your workforce and support their well-being by proactively addressing employee issues and concerns, which can significantly reduce costly turnover rates.

Wellness Programs Ideas

Creating and implementing an effective employee wellness program is essential to maintaining a healthy and happy workforce. In our previous blog post, we discussed the challenges the hybrid work model poses and its impact on wellness programs. To help you address these challenges, we have compiled a list of wellness program ideas that can be implemented in in-person and remote work environments.

Healthy work-life balance 

Work overload combined with a lack of sleep has tremendous effects on employee productivity and is directly linked to burnout. To prevent this, managers should monitor employee work hours and provide support where necessary. 

Tools like Performica can help identify bottlenecks caused by overwork due to lack of delegation by reviewing intra-team communication and identifying high-performing yet unhappy employees. It can help you build effective communication and introduce a balanced workflow to alleviate workplace stress. 

While fully involved in the work process, every employee should always maintain confidence in their teammates and remember that they work closely with others, not alone. 

Nutritious diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential to maintaining physical and mental well-being. Encourage employees to take breaks and provide sufficient time for lunch during the workday. 

You can also provide healthy snacks or corporate paid lunch delivery services to promote healthy eating habits. With such services available at a tap, companies can also engage remote employees by providing them with home-delivered meals. 

Exercise

Regular exercise is vital to boosting positivity, satisfaction, and happiness and strengthening the immune system, resulting in fewer sick leaves and smaller healthcare costs. 

Encourage employees to find a physical activity they enjoy, such as walking, jogging, yoga, or another sport. Providing on-site gym services, fitness classes, and after-work exercise groups can help employees stay active.

Workplace setup

Chronic pain due to a lack of movement and poor blood flow remains one of the main reasons for sub-par performance at the workplace. Employees face a real struggle and seek every possible way to resolve it, with the rise in use of standing work desks increasing by 40% since the beginning of the pandemic to back up that statement. 

As an employer, make sure employees have an ergonomic and comfortable workplace by providing benefits to compensate for the home office setup. This approach shows genuine care for their comfort and physical well-being and ensures they have everything necessary to perform their best at calls and meetings.

Naps

Though not all companies can afford nap rooms like Facebook or Google can, this initiative can be quickly introduced, given the hybrid work environment. Allowing employees to nap during the workday can help them recharge and generate fresh ideas.

Assistance programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that we discussed in our previous blog post can support employees struggling with personal or work-related issues. Recognizing certain employees as caretakers and family members while others as potentially isolated and lonely individuals are extremely important in a workplace that offers work-from-home options. 

As an employer, you can help such employees access support programs outside the workplace to address their specific situation and personal struggles, thus achieving peace of mind and boosting confidence and satisfaction.

Evaluation of Success

Taking care of employees’ well-being is more than just the right thing to do – it’s a wise business decision. According to a recent survey by Gympass, 77% of employees would consider leaving a company that doesn’t prioritize their well-being. 

Additionally, 83% of employees believe their well-being is as important as their salary, and 85% are more likely to stay in their role if their employer focuses on well-being. 

According to a Udemy study, 48% of employees reported that company-sponsored wellness programs are the number one factor in helping them manage stress. These programs improve overall health and job satisfaction and save companies tremendous amounts of money that can go down the turnover drain.

If you plan on introducing new wellness activities in the company or seek to adjust the one in place, here are a few helpful tips on how to identify goals and monitor ROI from investing in employee wellness in accordance with Dr. Serena Huang: 

  1. Clarify the goals and objectives of the wellness program.
  2. Recommend and select the metrics aligned with the program’s goals and objectives.
  3. Quantify the impact with data and continuously monitor the program.

In conclusion, investing in employee well-being is a win-win for both the employer and the employee. Companies can improve employee retention and satisfaction by prioritizing wellness programs and using people analytics to improve them continuously.