The Positive Impact of Health On Employee Performance

Health impacting work performance

The following is a guest post by Stewart Sill.

Most people acknowledge (and probably have experience with) the negative impacts physical or mental impairments have on their personal performance – both at work and at home. However, fewer recognize that health can serve as a performance booster.

Potential Impact of Health: Performance Booster

Most people don’t fully grasp the positive impact habits that build health, energy, and well-being have on their personal performance, both at work and at home. . Nor do they recognize that by performing better, their actions in improving health are reinforced, by their enhanced capacity and achievement both at work and in their private lives.

 Organizational Role in Health

Like individuals, organizations typically acknowledge the negative impacts of poor health, but don’t fully value the opportunity of optimizing performance through investments in building health, energy, and wellbeing. Building health is more than a strategy for managing health care costs or the costs of absence from work. Instead, the larger value often comes from workers having the capacity and resilience to perform at their best, being more committed to the organization, experiencing greater satisfaction, and therefore perpetuating both health improvement and optimal performance.

Employee health should be a strategic variable that is of concern to leaders responsible for workforce analytics, talent development, and employee engagement. It has the potential to support business growth and profit, and thus should be considered a core business performance variable. In fact, recent studies have drawn a correlation between best-practice health programs and company performance. This suggests that the health of employees should no longer be thought of just in terms of an expense, but instead as a strategic investment in shareholder value.

As the nature of work continues to evolve, there is further opportunity to leverage health to optimize individual and business performance. Improved employee health results in improved employee performance, and reinforces continuous improvement in both performance and health at the individual level. This results in improved company performance by not only impacting unnecessary spending, but also increasing profit and growth.

Improving individual employee health doesn’t just happen overnight. Rather, it requires strategic planning and deliberate actions over the course of years. However, the opportunity is significant and will prove to be worth the effort.

Contact Performance pH to learn more about how you can build the structures to improve employee health and boost productivity within your organization.


Stewart leads IBM’s health promotion strategy to address its 5 key dimensions of health (physical, mental, social, financial, and purpose) among roughly 380,000 employees and their families across 100 countries.  IBM’s innovative approaches have received considerable recognition, from early digital programs and creative incentives, to unique employer interventions for childhood obesity and personal well-being, to leading use of wearable devices and data to drive personalization.  Published research has included successes in physical activity, weight management, smoking cessation, family health, and healthcare cost savings.


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  • The 10 levers of organisational excellence
    Posted at 03:38h, 21 October

    […] Healthy employees, especially those with good overall wellbeing, are more likely to perform well at work. And of course, when the people of an organization perform well collectively, high organizational performance is the outcome. An employee wellbeing initiative is also an important part of a well-developed corporate social responsibility program, which is essential for any organization that cares about its people and its reputation in the community. But a wellbeing initiative is not just yesterday’s wellness program. Instead, it will address the physical, social, community, career, and financial needs of your people. An appropriate benefits package, total compensation program, and wellness initiatives are all part of the equation. Inducements, effective communications, and policies will all be used to support ongoing action. […]

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