Corporate wellness programs have become very popular over the past five years as a way to keep employee engaged, healthy and productive. In fact in 2016, 85% of companies are making wellness a priority according to research by Colliers International Group, Inc. While wellness programs have become very popular, it can be tough to measure their effectiveness. There isn’t any real evidence that these programs bring real benefits to the workplace such as making employees happier, healthier and more productive.canstockphoto26530649

A recent blog from Harvard Business Review highlights the idea that the most effective way to bring about these changes in your workforce is to hire great managers and be a great leader yourself. We tend to agree. Putting together wellness, team-building and even professional development initiatives aren’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t have a positive work culture to start from. Leaders who focus on building relationships with employees based on trust, empathy and forgiveness will make a larger impact than any wellness program you can put into place.

Research shows the opposite to be true as well. Having poor leadership in an organization leads to employees taking more sick days and even having greater health issues, including heart problems in the future.

It really is that simple. Remember that your employees are human and that your interaction with them is not merely a transaction. There is much more involved in employing someone than having them perform work for a paycheck.

To start building a positive work culture in your organization is to focus on employee recognition. Our free Employee Recognition Toolkit will help you get started. If you have any questions, contact one of our HR Business Partners at 1-800-748-5102 or