June 01, 2015

World Economic Forum’s Wellness Imperative

You might not realize it, but there is a connection between wellness and employee engagement, organizational productivity, talent retention, creativity and innovation. At least that’s what the World Economic Forum (WEF) found compelling evidence for in its report, “The Wellness Imperative: Creating More Effective Organizations”.1 The report suggests a redefining of wellness as a “state of being that is shaped by engagement and other workplace factors as much as by physical and psychological health,” and found reason to suggest that businesses may want to begin promoting employee wellness as a strategic imperative.

They found that when health and well-being are actively promoted, organizations are 2.5 times more likely to be a best performer, 3 times more likely to be productive, and their employees are 8 times more likely to be engaged. Perhaps most importantly, these organizations are seen as 4 times less likely to lose talent within the year.

The report also makes clear the link between wellness and productivity, creativity and retention of talent:

  • Productivity:
    • Employees are 8 times more likely to be engaged when wellness is a priority
  • Creativity and Innovation
    • Those who feel wellness is a priority  in the workplace are 3.5 times more likely to report being encouraged to be creative and innovative
  • Retention of Talent
    • An organization is 4 times more likely to lose talent in the next 12 months if its employees take an unfavorable view of its promoting health and well-being

One way to actively promote wellness in the workplace? Rethink the work space as more than just the physical space where people arrive every day to “do their jobs.” Think about what small changes can be made to increase opportunities for engagement and interaction among people at work. Whether it’s strategically-placed hot beverage stations, open seating, outdoor walking paths, comfortable lounge seating for meetings, there are countless ways to make it clear that you are taking your employees wellness to heart.  For more ideas check out free guide to “Rethink the Daily Grind in 6 Easy Steps”



1) Dornan, Alistair et al. The Wellness Imperative: Creating More Effective Organizations. DAVOS, Switzerland: World Economic Forum in partnership with Right Management (A Manpower Company), 2010. Web. 21 May 2015.

Tags:Workplace Vitality