Guest Blog – Jenny Foley of Merchandise Warehouse 

Most companies offer employee benefits. The usual offerings include health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings. However, more and more companies are seeing the benefit of providing a wider range of benefits to their employees, specifically wellness services. Often, these additional wellness benefits are contingent upon budgeting and overall company values. Companies offering wellness benefits have happier and healthier employees and usually experience other positive effects, which benefit the bottom line.

Employee Benefits of Wellness in the Workplace
Benefits are first and foremost, used to recruit and retain employee superstars. But these programs also are imperative in helping employees facilitate work-life balance. The United States Chamber of Commerce reports employees with well-designed and executed wellness programs having a higher level of life satisfaction. They feel supported in maintaining or improving their physical, emotional, and mental health.

Companies Benefit, Too!
More than 87 percent of companies are committed to wellness in the workplace, and it’s not hard to understand why. It gives companies a warm, fuzzy feeling, plus wellness benefits help reduce costs and drive production. For instance, unhealthy behaviors lead to health risk increases, which in turn leads to chronic illness. When employees have higher instances of chronic illness, insurance premiums go up, absenteeism increases, and output suffers. A Harvard study found that for every dollar spent on wellness, medical costs fall by $3.27 and absenteeism costs fall by $2.73. Wellness programs literally pay for themselves and then some.

The mental effects of workplace wellness also cannot be ignored. According to a survey performed by the American Psychological Association, 91 percent of employees with superiors who are committed to their wellbeing via wellness program are motivated to perform their best and have higher job satisfaction. This attitude is contagious and contributes to overall team morale.

How Merchandise Warehouse Approaches Wellness
Merchandise Warehouse holds a belief in the vision of a Well company. We believe that our surrounding communities, as well as the health of our employees, is elevated when our company commits to a culture that reflects corporate social responsibility.  A quote by Richard Branson best sums up the Merchandise Warehouse culture, “Your employees are your company’s real competitive edge. They’re the ones making the magic happen – so long as their needs are being met.”

The Merchandise Warehouse employee wellness program has been designed with a pyramid concept. The ground level of the pyramid is programming focused on employees building a strong foundation by meeting the needs of employees around job security. Additional programming continues up to the apex of the pyramid, with our top Wellness award being the announcement of our annual Wellness Champion.  All MW employees have use of our employee portal which acts as the hub for “all things Merchandise”.  This portal strengthens communication and reinforces our culture in both warehouse locations.   Merchandise Warehouse supports the surrounding communities of Indianapolis and Pendleton, Indiana, by believing in second chances. Through a collaborative vetting process, we will hire from the “employees with barriers” labor pool, often offering employment to an individual other companies have turned away. Some of these employees have faced issues such as; a language barrier, addiction recovery, prior felony, homelessness or no reliable transportation.

The Merchandise Equation:
Happy Employee = Happy Customer = Happy Company