Companies are facing high rates of turnover as employees struggle with burnout from the pandemic on top of work-related stress. The benefits of investing in employee wellness extend beyond the increases in productivity, spurring innovation through collaboration and increasing staff retention.

There are few things that have not been influenced by the pandemic; however, one thing that has been heavily affected is wellbeing. Are you noticing that employee productivity is lacking? Are you struggling with retention, staff burnout, and staff turnover? An increase in worker stress may be the cause!

As we enter National Wellness Month, it is important to realize the importance that wellness plays throughout our lives. Our emotional and mental heath are not things that can be compartmentalized. Rather, they effect how we live, interact with others, and even how we work.

How COVID-19 Changed Worker Stress

Many people experienced work-related stress even before we were plunged into a worldwide pandemic. Research has found that many factors contribute to worker stress including poor management, a lack of support, conflicting roles, and poor communication. However, COVID-19 has vastly increased the amount of stress faced by many employees.

COVID-19 has introduced even more stressors into the workplace environment. Many organizations find themselves understaffed with employees having to pick up the slack for unfilled positions. Additionally, many workers experience added stress due to concerns about potentially contracting COVID-19 or passing it to a family member. Others have already lost loved ones and are dealing with grief.

Many employees are still struggling with the emotional stress of the pandemic, on top of their pre-existing work-related stress.


While organizations have strived to adapt to the new environment, there are still many challenges that workers face. Working from home has been found to lead to higher levels of social isolation while employees experience added stress from family-work conflicts. It is easy to see that worker stress is a major problem for many.

The Importance of Wellness Benefits

The link between employee wellness and productivity is far from new. This is something that has been known for quite some time. In fact, a study from Oxford University found that happy workers are 13% more productive than their peers. Happy workers are effective team members, collaborate better, and typically see higher efficiency.

While the benefits gained from wellness programs are strong, the problems associated with poor employee wellness provide an emphasis for why organizations in all industries can benefit from paying more attention to these issues. High worker stress tends to lead to mental health issues. In fact, research from around the world has shown that mental health-related concerns account for a significant portion of worker illnesses.

When wellness is centered in a workplace culture, there can be more room for collaboration and innovation.


Research has shown that the majority of workers miss at least a day of work per year due to stress with 15% missing more than six days annually. Research has also consistently shown that worker stress is a predictor of staff burnout and staff turnover, meaning that failing to address issues can lead to retention problems for employers. As leaders know, turnover is expensive, often costing an organization up to twice a person’s salary. While strong corporate wellness produces positive effects for organizations, poor wellness causes significant problems.

Building Wellness Programs

Many organizations understand the importance of corporate wellness and the effects of worker stress on things like retention, employee productivity, and staff burnout. However, they do not realize how to effectively engage in a successful strategy to promote employee wellness. Thus, it is important to look at existing best practices.

Research has found that the most successful corporate wellness program is an integrative one. Specifically, the best strategies for a wellness program include reducing work-related risk factors, developing positive aspects of the workplace, and addressing worker mental health issues regardless of the cause.

Companies can encourage physical and emotional wellness through workshops and integrative programs that support employees in building healthy habits.


Accomplishing this requires a shift in culture that can only be accomplished though leadership with a strong vision to place mental health and employee wellness as a core priority. The best strategies for a wellness program often involve a combination of education, incentivization, and policy change. Creating a climate that encourages and is receptive to employee feedback is also critical.

Organizations can enhance employee physical wellness by encouraging drinking water, physical activity, and adequate breaks. Small things include making standing desks available and providing healthy food options are important as are larger ones such as rewarding employees who engage in positive health behaviors. When it comes to mental wellness, core strategies for success include expressing gratitude, celebrating accomplishments, ensuring responsibilities are manageable, allowing flexible schedules when possible, and providing adequate employee support.

Ultimately, organizations that invest in employee wellness will reap the benefits. Preventative efforts at improving employee wellness generate significant returns, with fiscal investments fully repaid and typically exceeded. At Clymb, we focus on enhancing wellness. Find out how Clymb can help your organization improve employee wellness.

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