6 Reasons Why Your Company Needs an Employee Wellness Program

6 Reasons Why Your Company Needs and Employee Wellness Program

October 2011

The success of any company depends very heavily on the productivity and work performance of its human resources. Employee wellness programs have long been advocated as a way to increase productivity, decrease health care costs, and reduce absenteeism. Wellness programs focus on the physical well being of employees, looking after medical requirements and ensuring personal health is a priority. Employee wellness programs offer weight loss regimes, smoking cessation plans, stress management programs as well as diet and exercise/fitness advice.

Here are the top six reasons why your company should implement an employee wellness program:

#1 Decreased Health Care Costs

Wellness programs have proven effective in reducing company health care costs. The concept of a wellness program was introduced initially for dual purposes: reducing health risks in the employee population and providing significant economic benefits to employers. The inceptions of wellness programs provide an effective solution.

#2 Work Place Morale
Wellness programs cover a broad range of health care initiatives. From nutritional advice to medical coverage and exercise programs, a wellness program can be tailored to suit diverse employee needs. The effectiveness of a wellness program in terms of the office environment is simple. Employees are healthier which directly relates to their happiness. This equates to maximized performance. They also become aware that the company is taking measures to ensure their health and well being, breeding loyalty and responsibility.

#3 Reduced Absenteeism

There are many factors that influence a person’s health and well being. These could be minor inflictions such as a cold or flu or as major as heart disease or obesity. Any of these could result in employee absenteeism. Wellness programs have been proven to drastically reduce the number of “sick days” taken by employees. Studies have shown up to a 45% decrease in absenteeism after the implementation of a wellness plan. There are many small changes in lifestyle that can influence overall health and well being. A wellness program identifies changes in lifestyle that influence these, educates the employee population, and implements the program throughout the organization. Through education, training and professional health care, a wellness program can greatly reduce absenteeism. For your company this is the bottom line; reduced absenteeism equals a reduction in costs and an increase in productivity.

#4 Reduced Overall Costs

Employee wellness programs provide a range of benefits for employers. However, these benefits will not reach their full potential unless the wellness program is designed for the specific targeted population, properly funded, and implemented correctly. Larry Chapman, MPH conducted an extensive cost-benefit analysis on multi-component wellness programs. He found that employers can generally expect a cost-benefit ratio of 1:2.0 to 1:1.67
#5 Increased Productivity

The main aim of an employee wellness program is to encourage employees to lead healthier lifestyles. A healthier body leads to a healthier mind as well as increased concentration, energy levels and output. NASA found that the productivity of non-exercisers decreased during the last two hours of the day while those who exercised regularly worked at full efficiency until the end of the day. This results in a 12.5% difference in performance between the two groups.

#6 Increased Responsibility

An employee wellness program indicates to employees that the company cares about their well being. A well taken care of employee feels a strong connection with their company. They tend to develop a level of responsibility linked to their work, creating a positive attitude within the work place. When a company takes an interest in the health and well being of its employees, those employees will take an interest in performing to the best of their ability.

Being proactive in the health of your employees can have a substantial impact on your company. The return on investment can be significant when a wellness program is implemented correctly. More importantly, a positive, healthy work environment will contribute to employee morale and loyalty by cutting costs and decreasing employee turnover. An employee wellness program may be one of the few programs that benefit employees while paying back to the organization.