Promoting employee wellness has long been of importance to employers. Healthy employees are more productive, more engaged and keep healthcare costs low for an organization. However, in the ten years that have past since the Great Recession, employees are no longer happy to just have a job — they are looking for more engagement and more fulfillment. Because of this fundamental shift, the focus has shifted from employee wellness to employee well-being.
According to Knoll Workplace Research, this shift is lucrative for employers. While few companies make the investment, a 10% increase in well-being has been associated with a 5% increase in job performance and drastically reduced healthcare costs.*
Employee wellness is focused on physical health and includes things like ergonomics, healthy eating and exercise programs and anti-smoking initiatives. Employee well-being is much more comprehensive. Well-being considers physical wellness, but also focuses on mental, emotional and social health.
Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Knoll graphic above demonstrates that well-being can only be achieved after the fundamental wellness needs (like physiological and safety needs) are met. Once you’ve accomplished those key steps, here’s how your workplace can support well-being in your organization:
Want to learn more about wellness vs. wellbeing in the workplace? Read Knoll’s comprehensive white paper What’s Good for People: Moving from Wellness to Well-Being.
*Data sourced from: