Why Corporate Wellness is Important for Talent Retention in Asia

Employees in Asia are keen to quit their jobs. Asia Pacific employees have less intention to stay in their current jobs, dropping from 74% in 2021 to 66% in 2022 (Qualtrics’ 2022 Employee Experience Trends report).  

Hong Kong, in particular, saw a more prominent drop. Only 59% of employees indicated an intent to stay, which amplified for individual female contributors, at a mere 47%.

The shift shows a change in employee expectations. Unless employers revamp their approach towards employee experience, attracting new talent and retaining their valued employees in the current environment will be an upward battle.

Solution to labour shortage in APAC – Corporate Wellness Programmes

There has been a rise in Asia towards adopting corporate wellness programmes. Up to 60% of companies across APAC are either currently running 
corporate wellness programmes or in the process of introducing corporate wellness into the company (CBRE Viewpoint).

Leading businesses now have a better appreciation for corporate wellness programmes. Namely, they see employee wellness programmes as a strategic approach to appeal to top talent in the market.

“In Asia-Pacific and globally, the promotion of wellness in the workplace is shifting from a corporate social responsibility consideration to a strategic priority as more companies recognize the role it plays in attracting and retaining staff, and driving business results.”

Victoria Gilbert, associate director of wellness consulting at Colliers International Asia Pacific.

What are the benefits of corporate wellness programmes?

Credit to the pandemic alongside Asia’s ageing workforceemployees now place a higher value on workplace wellness and other non-financial factors such as flexible working hours or the freedom to work from home. 

Leading employers also see greater importance on corporate wellness programmes and mental health, expanding the scope of wellbeing beyond physical safety to include emotional, social, financial, communal and employee engagement factors. As seen in a survey across the Asia region by the insurer Cigna, 66% of respondents said that it was important that their employees had a wellness programme in place, with 59% saying that it had a direct impact on their decision on whether to join a new company or not.

Corporate wellness programmes, when properly implemented, help promote employee engagement, talent retention, attract top talent, organisational culture, boost morale and cut the cost of employee health care.

What’s at stake for corporations in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the average loss of productivity added up to an estimated yearly cost of HK$3.74 million, a significant 25% increase from the previous year (2019 Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality).

According to the survey, health-related absenteeism and presenteeism made up for a loss of productivity in as high as 30% of working hours of Hong Kong employees on average. This percentage equated to a loss of 77.3 working days per employee every year, the worst among five markets in the Asia Pacific and significantly higher than the Asia Pacific average of 67.1 days.

What is corporate wellness?

As of now, there is no set requirement as to what corporate wellness looks like across different corporations. They are programs intended to improve and promote the health and fitness of employees at the workplace.

Thanks to this freedom, there are many possibilities to how corporations can implement corporate wellness in the workplace, from relatively low-cost initiatives such as implementing flexible schedules to more extensive benefits such as cash rewards and gym membership deals. There is a lot that businesses can do to make the workplace more appealing to talent. Aside from in-house corporate wellness initiatives, there are also many ready-made plans in the market for businesses.

Popular corporate wellness programmes include:

  • Flexible working schedules
  • Mental health support /Counselling
  • Better office environment/desk setups
  • Giving employees discounts on their monthly health insurance premiums
  • Cash rewards for participation in fitness building activities
  • Providing discounted or free gym memberships
  • Healthy snack options at work
  • Access to smoking cessation and weight-management programs
  • Increased/unlimited paid time off

Measuring the ROI of corporate wellness programmes

While the idea of wellness programmes can be very enticing, the results may vary. All this boils down to how well the wellness programme is implemented to address the concerns.

For example, Johnson & Johnson’s decade long corporate wellness investment targeted at employees’ social, mental, and physical health, paid off. According to the leaders at Johnson & Johnson, their wellness programme saved an estimate of USD$250 million in health care costs, amounting to $2.71 for every dollar spent.

Best Practices to Implementing Corporate Wellness Programmes

To secure returns, we advise businesses to dedicate more resources to planning a more comprehensive and strategic approach towards their corporate wellness programme.

General best practices include:

  • Determining the main objective of the wellness programme
  • Leveraging existing resources
  • Starting small, and attuning the programme to the needs of the company
  • Considering the ROI and value of investment
  • Engaging with employees to learn about their needs about concerns

As the Asia Pacific competition for the top talent becomes fiercer and fiercer, businesses will most likely be coming out with more elaborate corporate wellness programmes to attract and retain talent. For HR professionals, the time is now. Start thinking about their long term workforce strategy as corporate wellness becomes a norm across the market. Start early, and plan for the future.

Get in touch with Links, and start building the workforce of your future. With over 20 years of recruitment experience in Asia, Links provides specialised recruitment services. Get in touch with one of our representatives today to learn more.

Links’ Key Article Takeaways:

  • Corporations should start early in addressing the labour shortage problem across Asia Pacific.
  • Strategise for the long term by implementing corporate wellness in the company.
  • Know your main objectives before building a corporate wellness program. Make sure to account for the ROI and VOI before implementation.
  • Start small, and leverage what is already in your disposal.

Enjoyed this article? Don’t forget to comment and subscribe to our blog for more content like this!

Related Articles:

Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationEmployer of Record (EOR), recruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

Generic HRO Banner