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A wellness program can help workers feel more fulfilled, which means lower turnover, hiring and training costs, and most importantly, higher customer satisfaction.
“The long-term, the long-term sustainable advantage, the biggest differentiator between you and your competition is a culture of engagement, including wellness,” said Dawn Hrdlica-Burke, vice president of people at Daxko, of Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday.
Hrdlica-Burke was the keynote speaker at Louisiana Business Group on Health’s annual meeting.
Having healthy, happy workers improves recruitment and retention, major concerns of the association’s members, said Cheryl Tolbert, executive director of the group.
Hrdlica-Burke said a healthy company culture involves getting everyone rowing in the same direction, focused and with a purpose behind everything they do.
Although proving the return on investment of a culture of engagement or a wellness program is difficult, such programs can connect people and build relationships, she said.
That’s important because employees don’t care about the company making money.
They worry about their well-being and that of the team and their customers.
“Happy team members, healthy team members always make for happy customers, which drives your bottom line up. Revenue’s higher, profitability’s higher,” Hrdlica-Burke said.
Seventy percent of workers are disengaged and uninspired at work, according to Gallup’s 2012 State of the American Workplace study. Companies that don’t keep their workers engaged have more accidents, and higher health care costs.
Keeping workers engaged is especially important for Generation Y or millennials, the people born after 1980 who now make up half the workforce, Hrdlica-Burke said.
These workers have never known a world without the Internet. They’re community-minded, service-oriented and they’re socially responsible and globally connected, through a variety of media.
They’re also entrepreneurial. They want to own the projects on which they work.
“You want them to be involved in solutions,” Hrdlica-Burke said.