Win-Win: 5 Reasons Wellness Programs Are a Smart Strategy

In my last blog post, “The True Cost Of Burnout And What You Can Do About It”, I talked about the implications of clinician burnout on patient safety, satisfaction, and your healthcare system’s bottom line. 

Our healthcare professionals are hurting, and we need to act. New research from McKinsey & Company calls out what clinicians want today:

  • Active monitoring of nurse distress and proactive outreach (62%)
  • Increased availability and accessibility to support resources (60%)
  • Increased availability and accessibility of mental health resources (54%)
  • Greater personal connections between nurses (50%)

A well-designed holistic wellness program addresses all these concerns. Let’s take a closer look at how wellness programs benefit both your team and your health system. 

  1. Improve productivity
    Wellness isn’t just about physical fitness. Depression and stress negatively affect productivity and job performance. Stress can impact clinicians’ ability to accomplish tasks and lead to poor decision-making, loss of concentration, and apathy. A wellness program that addresses the whole person – physical and emotional health – is the key to reducing stress, improving focus, and increasing energy.

  2. Decrease absenteeism
    Nurse absenteeism costs $3.5 billion annually.  Heavy workloads, stressful meetings, and feelings of being unappreciated can cause employees to skip work. While this certainly affects your bottom line, it exposes your health system to other risks. Absenteeism affects the quality of patient care, patient safety and satisfaction, and the occurrence of medical errors because of increased workload. A wellness program can decrease absenteeism by improving employee mental and physical health – providing the tools needed to cope with stress and encourage nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits.

  3. Improve recruitment and retention
    Healthcare professionals are looking for their employers to step up. A 2021 survey by McKinsey & Company advises that nurses are “looking for more support from the organizations that employ them” and want to make “workforce health and well-being part of the fabric.” Additionally, more than half of Gen Z and millennials consider wellness programs important or extremely important when evaluating employers. When you realize the cost of recruitment activities alone (marketing, advertising) is up to $10,000 per nurse and the cost of turnover for a single bedside RN is $40,038, hiring the best candidates – and keeping them – is crucial to your bottom line.

  4. Drive employee engagement
    Engaged employees are involved, committed, and enthusiastic. Disengaged employees are costly. A Gallup study finds that an actively disengaged employee costs their employer 34% of their annual salary. Wellness and engagement are two sides of the same coin. When healthcare providers feel their best physically and mentally, they are happier and more engaged in the workplace. Wellness programs that foster community and build stronger relationships with co-workers are a crucial component. Employee satisfaction increases nearly 50% when employees develop close relationships with their peers. These relationships make work more enjoyable and improve employees’ commitment to their jobs and co-workers.

  5. Improve morale
    Healthcare providers aren’t just looking for free Fitbits. The most successful morale-boosting programs offer holistic support, including e-coaches, nutritionists, personalized guidance, support, and accountability. They provide healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, relaxation, and proper sleep education. Becker’s Healthcare reports that 67% of employees say participation in wellness programs increases their engagement in their employer’s mission and goals.

The epidemic of burned-out nurses and health care providers inspired me to take my decades of field experience and create TAP Wellness Coaching. TAP is a holistic approach to wellness that focuses on healthcare professionals’ unique physical, mental, emotional, and restorative health needs. 

Enrolling your team in TAP and embracing the proven benefits of wellness programs on productivity, engagement, morale, and retention helps heal the wounds our clinicians and your health system are suffering. When you consider the high cost of doing nothing, TAP pays for itself many, many times over. 

To connect with me about TAP Wellness Coaching programs for your hospital or health facility, email me at info@tapwellness.com 

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