With healthcare costs continuing to rise, employers are often hesitant in spending more money upfront on employee wellness. However, a complete understanding of the advantages of an employee wellness program can help employers realize the long term benefits of not only their employees’ health, but also in the company’s bottom line.
In recent years, companies have begun offering wellness plans and other voluntary benefits to attract top talent and reduce long term healthcare costs. Those employers who properly implement health initiatives with high engagement rates are seeing the positive results. In fact, a Towers Watson study of 32,000 employees found that companies with high rates of engagement had profit margins 3 times higher than those with lower engagement! The key item to note within this statistic is that simply offering a wellness program is not always enough, but employers should encourage healthy habits on a continuous basis and regularly educate their employees on their wellness offerings to increase engagement throughout the organization. Some ways employers have experienced improvements to their bottom line through high engagement in health offerings are:
Exercise Can Lower Health Care Costs
Encouraging healthy habits can lead to more employees exercising on a regular basis. The typical office worker is prone to a sedentary lifestyle sitting at their desk for over 8 hours a day. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Motivating these employees to get up and move, even for a 5 minute walk every hour, or offering benefits like gym memberships can help get employees into healthier habits. The benefits of exercising won’t only get your employees feeling better, but will improve cardiovascular health which could reduce risk of chronic disease and result in long-term health savings. Employees who exercise on a regular basis are also less likely to visit the emergency room and generally visit the doctor’s office less than individuals who do not exercise regularly.
Bring Teams Together
Worksite wellness programs can help create and sustain a positive corporate culture within organizations. In a 2015 Mental Health America report, 80% of respondents said they’re inclined to work alone because of an unhelpful or hostile work environment. Employers can use wellness as an opportunity to encourage interaction between employees. There are a number challenges that can encourage healthy competition within the workplace and improve employee relationships.
For example, the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) takes place every year for a period of 100 days and promotes a culture of health throughout businesses. Employees sign up in teams of seven and compete alongside more than 53,000 teams from up to 1,500 of the world’s most respected companies.
Boost Morale and Motivation
Employees are at their most productive when they are happy and motivated – but far too often employees become disengaged in their work and end up showing up and counting down the minutes until they get to leave! A well-rounded wellness program focuses on more than just physical fitness. Getting employees to participate in things like charity walks or other events around the community is a great way of helping employees communicate with one another outside of the office setting and creating a working synergy that translates into the office setting.
Ultimately, encouraging healthy habits can improve your company’s bottom line by lowering healthcare costs and boosting employee productivity through improved collaboration, better morale, and increased motivation. Employers should instill a culture of health and create engaging programs for their employees to participate in. To receive ideas on how to create engaging wellness programs to help improve your company’s bottom line and improve participation rates, Contact Us.