Some organizations are doing so, because they feel that it is the right thing to do. They want to ensure that they have a healthy workforce.
Others are doing so because they feel that employee ill-health is costing them money.
Both are right. Workplace wellness programs have been shown to positively impact the bottom-line.
To figure out how wellness programs can save a company money, just list the different ways employees cost money:
- health care costs
- absenteeism [the amount of time employees are paid but not at work]
- presenteeism [the amount of time employees are at work, but not really producing]
- worker’s compensation
- employee turnover [the percentage of employees who leave each year]
What We Know:
- Approximately 30% of all health care costs are administrative
- Wellness programs can reduce preventable chronic diseases and healthier employees will require fewer medications, however, rarely does this impact insurance premiums
- Self-insured companies benefit directly from the savings from wellness programs. Outside insurers reap the benefits of these savings and often don’t pass this along
There are five main reasons employees are absent from work:
- personal illness
- family needs
- entitlement mentality
- Entitlement mentality refers to taking time off work because there is a perception that the employee has “earned it” or somehow the company owes them the time off.
- Wellness programs have been shown to improve health and impact stress and personal illness
- Wellness programs may impact the entitlement mentality as they can improve morale and help the employee to feel appreciated
- personal needs
- Wellness programs can impact poor health such as sleep deprivation and poor nutrition which can increase engagement
- Broader wellness programs can target to coping with specific sources of stress such as technology or poor communication
Beverly’s Comments – What does this mean for your wellness programming?
Workplace wellness can have a significant return on investment. However, if you only look at reducing health care costs, you may not seem the impact that you are looking for. The biggest ROI may be in the impact that workplace wellness programming can have on absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover and recruitment. When employees are healthy and working in a healthy environment, they are engaged, creative and productive. They tell others, who will be attracted to your company. In an aim to be an employer of choice, isn’t this what you want?
What are the ways that you are evaluating and measuring your wellness programs to show a return on investment?
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!