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Lowering Attrition with WELLness Standards

Over the past few years, companies have caught on to the wellness wave. They work to encourage healthy habits in and outside of the office. After all, healthy employees are productive employees.

A group of professionals, led by former financier Paul Scalia, founded the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in 2013. It is a public benefit corporation that aims to promote health and wellness in buildings and communities It developed the WELL standard, which measures the impact of workspaces on its occupants’ health and well-being.

About WELL

As Scalia notes, the $4 trillion green industry has so far focused on issues like cutting energy cost. They have also made waste management more efficient. But the human element, which accounts for a larger part of the company’s bottom line, has not been as much of a focus.

WELL set out to change that. They set standards for design, construction and management of a facility according to industry best practices. They meticulously researched metrics, and focused on the impact of office or facility on its occupants.

WELL asses buildings using seven factors – Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind. These seven concepts are then broken down into more than 100 factors. These take into account in the quality of air, water, and light within a space. Some factors focus on creating opportunities for staff to incorporate fitness and comfort into their work days. Others are aimed at encouraging companies to promote healthy food cultures while designing offices that encourage innovation and emotional health.


The objective behind the 100 metrics is a simple one: Developing a space in which people can thrive through working productively, eat healthily and innovate continuously. Examples of spaces where wellness is important are those with fitness rooms, adjustable height desks, and high tables specially to boost employee health and productivity.

One question that often pops up in the discussion of WELL is whether adopting it is expensive. While the answer is a yes, the more pertinent question is whether it is worth the extra effort and cost.

And that is a definite yes, for significant reasons.

Benefits outweigh the costs

First, adoption of the standard will result in an improvement in employee health. That alone will cut medical costs, justifying part of the higher costs associated with WELL.

Second, having an office in which people want to work in has a huge intangible effect on a company’s standing. That helps companies gain an edge in an increasingly competitive battle for talent. Employees want to work in companies that care for them on top of decent working hours and a good pay.

Third, a well-looked after workforce is a productive one, according to a 2017 survey of US workers by Gallup.

Engaged employees make it a point to show up to work and do more work. Highly engaged employees realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.

Engaged employees are more present and productive, more attuned to the needs of customers, and have a stronger observance of processes, standards and systems. Gallup’s research revealed highly engaged employees resulted in 21% greater profitability.

Why wait? Get WELL!

In short, paying attention to workers’ health and welfare results in a more engaged workforce and a lower attrition rate.

So, while a healthier office may cost more to design and set up, companies may find that they not only have healthier team members, but, by reducing staff turnover and improving productivity, the effect on the company’s numbers will also be positive.

Click here to learn more about WELL.

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