Part one of this three-part blog series will explore the incredible benefits that a company can realize when implementing a wellness program at work. Aside from the obvious benefit of having happy, healthy employees; companies can save millions of dollars each year in healthcare costs and improve the productivity of their workforce by implementing such a program.
Let’s think about this for a second… Wouldn’t you feel better about your job if your employer expressed a vested interest in your well-being? According to Partnerships for a Healthy Workforce (PHW), employees are “more likely to be attracted to, remain with, and value a company that obviously values them.” A recent Smart Business article states that, “Organizations that value and promote a healthy lifestyle may have an edge when it comes to attracting and retaining key people. In addition, their employees may be more alert and more productive.”
Productivity also relates to an employees ability to work for longer periods of time and effectively concentrate on their work. PHW reports that a healthy workforce will lead to reduced absenteeism and lost time, and can also positively effect employee turnover.
Lower Healthcare Costs
This is an obvious benefit of having healthy employees, but sometimes can be a hard argument to make because of the potential for a large investment in your employees. Time and time again, studies have proven that having healthy employees can dramatically decrease healthcare costs – some examples from PHW:
- “Smokers generated 31% higher claim costs than non-smokers”
- “Workers with unhealthy weights had 143% higher hospital inpatient utilization than those with healthy weights”
- Employees with just a few risk factors cost much less than employees with numerous risk factors
According to the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, “Some companies are giving additional incentives to workers who follow through and actually try to lower their risk factors.” What employee wouldn’t benefit from saving some money and improving their health?
Savings can be realized through any scale of program – from comprehensive company-wide wellness programs to single activities to promote healthy lifestyles. And the savings are real: a Dallas-based company of 6,500 employees instituted a wellness program, and in just one year with half of its employees participating, they saved $500,000 in health care costs, according to the News Press.
Enhance your Company Image
It’s also important to consider the effect of healthy employees on your company’s image and influence in the community. By supporting the wellness of your employees, your organization is demonstrating a certain degree of social responsibility. They’re building their reputation as an organization that supports their workforce, and therefore will likely be seen as a welcome “neighbor” in the community.
Check back in to the Where Great Workplaces Start blog next week for Part 2 in this 3-Part series on Creating a Healthy Workplace. Next week we’ll blog about Planning a Wellness Program.
For more information on improving the health and wellness of your employees, check out www.ERCHealth.com for some innovative ideas on workplace health and wellness.