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Unveiling the data: the impact of employee wellbeing on performance

5 min read

Key points:

  • Employee disengagement costs Australia’s economy around $2 billion annually, driving companies to focus on enhancing employee wellbeing.
  • Flare’s National Employee Benefits Index, a study involving over 1,500 Australian employees, reveals a substantial correlation between emotional wellbeing and productivity.
  • Our research uncovers that employee wellbeing encompasses physical, mental, emotional, social, professional, and financial health.
  • Promoting a positive work culture, offering mental health resources, and addressing financial stress can greatly enhance employee wellbeing and overall performance.

Workplace disengagement in Australia costs approximately $2 billion annually due to turnover and reduced corporate profits. As a result, businesses of all sizes are focusing their efforts on enhancing employee emotional health and wellbeing. At Flare, we’re supporting Australian businesses by uncovering insights into what emotional wellbeing means for their employees.

The Flare National Employee Benefits Index

In April 2023, we unveiled our National Employee Benefits Index — an in-depth analysis of the work attitudes of over 1,500 working Australians and how various benefits and types of compensation impact overall employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. 

Our study found a significant correlation between employee emotional health and wellbeing and their overall performance and productivity. This article will explore key insights from our research and offer strategies that employers can implement to prioritise employee wellbeing in their workplaces to ultimately attract and retain high-quality talent.

The multidimensional aspects of employee wellbeing

Workers’ wellbeing extends beyond mere job satisfaction. It encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of an employee within their work environment. 

Here are the primary aspects of employee wellbeing:

  • Physical wellbeing includes factors like healthy working conditions, ergonomic setups, accessible healthcare, and a balanced lifestyle.
  • Mental and emotional wellbeing goes beyond the absence of mental illness. It refers to employee ability to manage stress, maintain emotional stability and resilience, and balance work and personal life. According to Flare’s National Employee Benefits Index, 34% of participants identified mental health as their primary stress source, second only to financial stress.
  • Social wellbeing is nurtured through a supportive work environment that promotes teamwork, diversity, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging.
  • Professional wellbeing involves aspects such as job satisfaction, career development, continuous learning opportunities, and recognition and rewards.
  • Financial wellbeing covers fair compensation, financial security, and a wide range of benefits.

Biggest sources of stress

Our research shows that mental health is a primary stressor, reported by 34% of participants, second only to financial stress.

Understanding that their staff’s holistic health directly impacts productivity, engagement, and retention, many organisations are implementing wellness programs to foster healthier behaviours and a positive work environment.

RELATED: Australian workers reveal the key employee benefits that bring happiness 

The tangible value of workplace wellbeing

Wellbeing in the workplace, directly or indirectly related to work, has far-reaching consequences:


Stress-related issues cost the Australian economy around $11 billion per year due to absenteeism and presenteeism. Research from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia reveals that mental health conditions prompt the highest levels of workplace compensation claims with a median compensation paid of $45,900, compared to $14,500 for overall claims**. 

"Mental stress claims have a median time off work of nearly 27 weeks, compared to just seven weeks for all serious claims."
Mental health and workplace


Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. However, Flare’s research shows that fewer than half of our nation’s workforce looks forward to going to work, potentially affecting their performance and engagement negatively.


Positive psychology expert Shawn Achor in his book “The Happiness Advantage” proposes that happiness is a precursor to success, not an outcome. When employees are happy, they are more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive, leading to improved performance and success.

Enhancing employee wellbeing: Effective strategies

Several strategies can help improve workplace wellbeing:

Foster a positive work culture: 

Encourage open communication, respect, and empathy. 

Our National Employee Benefits Index reveals that 41% of participants feel emotionally drained by their work.​

On the plus side, socialising outside of work showed 52% engagement and significantly influenced employee loyalty. This suggests that social interaction is top-of-mind for an overwhelming number of employees. 

Offer mental health resources

Comprehensive resources such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and access to counselling services can help employees cope with stress and anxiety.

At Flare, we’ve partnered with Sonder to provide our employees with the tools they need to manage their wellbeing. Sonder combines modern technology with healthcare experts to provide 24/7 access to self-help or live chat via their revolutionary app. The platform provides anonymised data-driven insights that give you the knowledge to face upcoming wellbeing challenges.

According to Sonder, active care is the next big trend in employee wellbeing. They are witnessing that organisations acknowledging employee healthcare barriers, sharing responsibility for wellbeing, and empowering their employees to actively participate in better outcomes are effectively removing access barriers to medical and mental health care.

Promote work-life balance: 

Flexible work arrangements and clear boundaries between work and personal life can significantly improve an employee’s overall wellbeing. A flexible working schedule is often thought of as the holy grail of employee incentives. However, our research shows that only 6% of companies are embracing it.

Alleviate financial stress: 

Our survey showed that 50% of respondents cited financial concerns as their primary stress source. In line with this finding, AMP’s research shows that the most vulnerable Australians such as women, single parents, and part-time workers, bear the brunt of escalating financial stress. But it’s not just lower income workers who are affected. One in five employees earning over $100,000 per annum are suffering from financial stress.

Some of the most common causes of financial stress include housing, transportation and general food and clothing costs. Providing benefits that address these needs can significantly enhance employee wellbeing and productivity.

Some of the most common causes of financial stress include housing, transportation and general food and clothing costs. 

RELATED: Breaking the cycle: addressing financial stress in the workplace

Ready to transform your workplace?

In conclusion, placing employee wellbeing at the forefront is paramount to attracting and retaining exceptional talent. 

By fostering a supportive work environment, providing essential mental health resources, promoting work-life balance, and addressing financial stress, employers can cultivate a thriving workplace. We firmly believe that nurturing employee wellbeing is crucial to building a resilient organisation that attracts the best talent and achieves long-term success.

At Flare, employees are empowered to live their best lives through two additional days of annual leave, dedicated to wellness, as well as a substantial wellbeing bonus of $1000.

To gain deeper insights, delve into our National Employee Benefits Index and join us in prioritising employee wellbeing for a supportive and empowering work environment.

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Discover the profound impact of employee wellbeing on productivity through Flare’s research: the National Employee Benefits Index. As we unveil correlations, insights, and actionable strategies, we delve into the multidimensional aspects of wellbeing and how businesses can cultivate a thriving, resilient workplace.