1.1 Background to the Study
Corporate wellness programs have progressively come to be an essential modern human capital issue in the ever-changing trends in the employment field around the world today. Over years, companies have developed and maintained a culture of a healthy work environment which is just more than enjoying an ailment free life that leads to improved employee morale and efficiency (Garrin, 2014). Michaels and Greene (2013) suggested that corporate wellness programs are taken into consideration as treatments that support employees' physical, mental, and financial health assisting organizations in protecting and promoting employees' health and wellness. They explained that the work place stands for an essential channel for health and wellness promotion, which the success of a wellness program relies on how managers identify and satisfy employees' needs. Alexander (2008) specified that organizations are currently putting in place extensive initiatives to develop plans that create a healthy work environment in-order to foster employee efficiency as a result attracting various other common benefits such as high engagement, morale, retention as several of the situations of improved health outcomes. Business stakeholders in addition to managers have constantly designed methods to position their companies for success with identifying wellness programs that leverage them as great employers (Hindle, 2003).
Burton et.al (2006) thought that the introduction of corporate wellness programs in addition to health promotion has led to reduction of costs connected to medical expenses in addition to making various other gains such as reducing absenteeism, and employee turnover. Researches have revealed that great wellness programs can aid employees get and remain much healthier physically and mentally (Miller, 2013). He specified that corporate wellness programs encourage employee engagement and commitment as happy and healthy employees are productive employees. Devenpart (1999) saw employee's wellness programs as worthy investments to employees that can be used to create a much more favorable, healthy and balanced work environment and motivated labor force. Lindenberg (2014) thought that there is a great deal of attention and focus which has been given to employee's wellness programs creating a strict demand by the society forcing organizations to execute workplace wellness programs.
Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1960) and Resource Based View Theory (Barney, 1991) are in support of employee wellness programs on work engagement and productivity. Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1960) explains how behavior proficiencies, personal elements in addition to environmental factors reciprocate the causation of psychosocial functioning of workers in organizations. The theory also addresses the health factors such as the personal and socio-structural factors and how they add to individuals' health and illness by discussing the social and cognitive factors of a healthy work environment, behaviors and environment. Resource Based View Theory (Barney, 1991) was developed to evaluate sustainable competitive advantage by companies based on their resources and abilities. The concept highlights that performance and competitive advantage are the essential factors of a firm's resources.
Thus, employee work engagement is a positive affective-motivational state of job-related well-being that is defined by workers being associated with their work roles, finding meaning in their work, and showing physical, psychological, and cognitive energy towards their work activities (Kahn, 1990; Leiter & Bakker, 2010). While work engagement was examined in areas such as psychology, business, education, and healthcare, it continues to be an essential variable in human resource development as work engagement was revealed to predict individual and work environment performance outcomes (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002; Macey & Schneider, 2008). The impacts of work engagement have been shown through connections with result variables such as employee productivity, job efficiency, use of discretionary effort, role development, organizational citizenship behavior, worker turnover, employee security, customer loyalty, and firm profitability (Harter et al., 2002; Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2006).
This study focused on Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), Nigeria with an objective of helping management know the significance of work environment wellness programs and its effect on employees' productivity. The bank (GTCO) is confronted with challenges of staff members often requiring time off because of minor ailments or other social problems affecting them, therefore increasing absenteeism and bringing about a reliance on short-term staff. This is costly to management whose obligation is to maximize the return on investment on the company's human capital. When trained and experienced workers take some time off because of minor health or social concerns, they cause operational interruptions, which in turn affects the quality of work and increase financial risk of the bank. It is on this note that this study seeks to investigate the impact of employee wellness programs on work engagement and productivity by using Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Corporate wellness programs have been given attention, relevance and focus in the work environment recently as they have got more support in all the sectors around the world (Lindahl, 2011, LeCheminant, and Merrill, 2012). Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) like lots of companies in Nigeria's financial industry deal with similar challenges such as absenteeism because of minor ailments or social problems that can be connected to wellness challenges, and these cuts across staff of all range of ages and caliber. Others are lifestyle diseases that have been increased by employee habits. It seems Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), Nigeria has no plan in position for efficient corporate wellness programs for their junior staff members and most especially those in the remote areas except for those who are at their head office. There seems a disconnect between the worth of what takes place on employee's health and what the company offers its employees.
A variety of researches have been carried out in the area of employee wellness and employee productivity. Ndungu (2015) carried out a detailed research study to identify the factors affecting uptake of employee wellness programs. The study discovered that employee health condition and attitude have the greatest impact on the uptake of corporate wellness programs. Matheka (2016) did a descriptive study on the factors affecting investments on corporate wellness programs by corporate organizations. The study discovered that the major corporate investments remain in the areas of employee physical health and fitness programs. The study likewise points out that there has been a shift by organizations and employers' attitudes towards employees' health and they have started acknowledging the need for a healthy labor force. Karioki (2006) investigated on a study on the survey of the perception of staff wellness programs in large manufacturing companies. The studies discovered that bulk of the companies offer workers with health programs such as counseling. The study wrapped up that business wellness programs are essential elements that effect on employee productivity in addition to firms' profitability.
Timothy Gubler, Lamar Pierce and Ian Larkin (2017) carried out a research study on the effect of wellness programs on worker efficiency in five laundry plants. They discovered that although practically 90% of business use wellness programs. Furthermore, they discovered that workers that improved their health increased efficiency by 10%. They recommended that business can increase their operational productivity with socially responsible plans that concentrate on improving employee's health.
In spite of these reviews the focus provided on wellness programs is insufficient. Some companies offer the programs with cost issues to it and have not directly related the impacts on productivity. This study will therefore examine the connection that exists between wellness programs and employee's productivity. No recognized similar research has been performed in the past, and as a result this study attempted to reduce the void left by the previous researchers in this regard. This study for that reason tried to answer the question, what is the relationship between wellness programs and employee productivity at Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO)?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to determine the employee wellness programs on work engagement and productivity by using Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) as a case study. The specific objective will therefore be;
i) To understand the relationship between wellness programs and employee productivity at Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc.
ii) To determine how employees’ productivity can be measured in corporate organisations
iii) To understand the relationship between wellness and work engagement
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions for this study include:
i) What is the relationship between wellness programs and employee productivity at Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc?
ii) How can employees’ productivity be measured in corporate organisations?
iii) What is the relationship between wellness and work engagement?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses for this study will be;
i) There is a significant relationship between ellness programs and employee productivity at Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc
ii) There is a significant relationship between wellness and work engagement
1.6 Significance of the Study
Results of this study are significant in the sense that it will help human resource and benefits administrators inside organizations or external firms that offer wellness programs and serve organizations directly. These groups also may use the findings when developing a business case for employee wellness interventions. Similarly, labor unions may be interested in the findings as they may want to prioritize expanded health options for workers they represent. Another group that may benefit from the findings are employees themselves, as the information may encourage them to participate in wellness programs offered by their organization and prioritize their wellness.
The present study sought to examine wellness and its effects on productivity in a sample of bank staff members. Future studies should examine other occupations or use other measures of wellness to test the stability of the findings. While this study examined economical and financial states in addition to wellness to represent personal resources, future studies may incorporate psychological traits to more fully understand the total effect of wellness programme variables on employee productivity.
Lastly, state and national policymakers concerned with the healthiness and productivity of their workforce should be concerned with findings of this study. These stakeholders may enact policy initiatives that offer incentives to businesses to have wellness programs or they may review policies related to the scope of healthcare offerings for workers. Similarly, national and international agencies and organizations that focus on workforce and labor markets may be interested in the findings of the study to strengthen their recommendations for implementing healthy workplace initiatives and research agendas.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is within the confines of employee wellness programs on work engagement and productivity. Five Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) branches were used as a case study from Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Operational terms for the main constructs and variables in this study are explained below:
Employee productivity: is an assessment of the efficiency of a worker or group of workers.
Work Engagement: A construct describing a positive affective-motivational state characterized by employee displays of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive energy dedicated to work activities.
Wellness: A construct that refers to a health-enhancing state where an individual seeks to improve their overall personal functioning to achieve their optimal health and well-being.
Wellness programme: a program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that is usually offered at the work place.