0721manwomanbubblesap-crop-600x338High turnover is a serious problem for many business owners. And it’s a very costly one, in terms of the time and training that are wasted. Given the impact turnover can have on your bottom line, it’s important to know what’s causing it. Or, in some cases, what isn’t.

A recent survey of 1,276 American workers revealed some shocking findings about one factor that an overwhelming number of employees said would make them less likely to leave their job. The mystery factor? Well-being.

In the study, conducted by Limeade, a whopping 91 percent of employees with high well-being said they were less likely to leave their job compared to those who reported lower well-being. Those stats make it pretty clear that placing an emphasis on employee well-being is well worth your time and effort in order to improve engagement, productivity and, ultimately, retention.

But what does that look like? Let’s start by defining our terms.

What is employee well-being?

For starters, let’s not confuse well-being with “wellness,” another initiative getting a lot of attention these days. The study defines well-being as “a state of optimal health, happiness, and purpose.” So, while physical wellness is certainly a component of well-being, it isn’t the only factor affecting it.

More so, well-being is the overall work experience employees have and how it affects the way they view their life, their fulfillment and satisfaction. So, while perks like gym memberships and free fitness trackers are great, they’re only taking into account a small piece of the puzzle. Likewise, businesses that offer benefits such as unlimited time off, free food, game rooms, and other non-traditional perks could still be missing the mark if they aren’t getting to the root of the problem.

What can I do to improve employee well-being?

In a November 2015 study employees, on average, rated their work lives as less than a six on a scale of one to ten. Many cited stress and tense social situations at work as the reason for such a low number. So, with workers so unhappy on the job, what can be done to improve their outlook?

The key to healthy and happy employees starts with the relationship between workers and their leadership. It’s important for employees to vocalize how they’re feeling and what they need in order to maximize their own personal well-being. It’s also important for management to objectively listen to this feedback and take it into consideration. Your employees need to know that you deem their mental, as well as physical, health as crucial to the company’s operation.

Actions you can take to improve on-the-job attitudes can be as simple as encouraging breaks or designating a quiet place in the building where employees know they can relax for a minute without interruption. Consider bringing in a therapist or other professional to teach relaxation techniques, or suggest taking a quick walk to find refreshment or rejuvenation.

Showing your employees that you consider them valuable assets to your company has been shown to improve morale and, ultimately, well-being. Happy employees are more motivated and less likely to leave, making for a more productive and effective workplace. The same survey also found that companies that focused on employee well-being also saw a decrease in healthcare costs because their employees felt healthier both at work and away from the office.

What are you waiting for? Start looking for ways to improve the well-being of your workforce today. It’s a win for your employees’ physical and mental health, as well as your bottom line.