Wellness programs started as a perk for large corporations and have since become an attractive employee benefit for businesses of all sizes. Implementing and supporting a corporate wellness program is one way that many businesses are trying to build a culture of health and fitness for their employees and their bottom line.
An effective wellness program can help businesses of all sizes reduce healthcare costs, increase worker productivity, lead to more successful recruitment and retention efforts, promote employee engagement, and encourage a healthy and positive workplace culture.
1. Reduced Health Costs
It’s easy to see why companies are trying to reduce costs: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee benefits account for about 1/3 of total spending on employee compensation. The fact is, unhealthy employees cost more—both because of their actual medical expenses and due to lost productivity.
Wellness programs are put in place for one primary reason—to get employees healthy in an effort to decrease the number of health-related claims. For employers, a healthier workforce directly impacts the performance of their medical plan—lowering claims trends and thus impacting the premiums paid by the employer and those that are ultimately charged to their employees.
2. Increased Productivity
By promoting physical fitness to employees, companies are helping to create a happier and more productive workplace.
According to the Journal of Phsychosomatic Medicine, people who are happy are more resistant to diseases ranging from the common cold to heart disease, while stress and anxiety tend to make people more susceptible to sickness, including diabetes and stroke. When you have healthy employees versus unhealthy employees, you may also notice an increase in attendance and a decrease in absenteeism.
3. Higher Retention and Recruitment
Wellness programs have a growing value proposition for employees and their families. Offering wellness benefits is one way that companies are staying competitive in today’s job market. Healthy employees are often happy employees—providing the right benefits for your employees can attract and retain members of your work force, lowering recruiting costs.
4. Increased Employee Engagement
Your employees keep everything running smoothly; they are your company’s greatest asset, so keeping them happy should be a priority.
When employees become disengaged with their job, it not only affects them on an individual level, but the company as a whole may suffer, too. As a result of employees not being engaged, companies may experience lost productivity and higher employee turnover, which can be extremely costly. A study by Gallup found that “62% of engaged employees feel their work positively affects their physical health. However, when it comes to disengaged employees, this number drops to 39% and a mere 22% among actively disengaged employees.”
5. Positive Workplace Culture
Research has shown that working for a company that offers a wellness program has a direct correlation to overall job satisfaction. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, “67% of respondents said an employer-sponsored wellness program shows the company cares about them. In addition, 67% also responded that they’re more likely to recommend the workplace to other job seekers as a result.”
Job satisfaction has a marked effect on employee morale, and high morale can be a significant driver of a strong and positive workplace culture. Some advantages of developing a healthy company culture include:
Genuine camaraderie amongst the employees
Loyalty from both employees and customers
Employees feel their feedback is important
Positive long-term financial performance
Implementing a corporate wellness program can be a daunting task, and many business owners and/or smaller HR departments simply don't have the time to find the right program and make it successful.
If you want to launch a wellness program or evaluate your existing one, let SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting Group give you the expert help you need.