Wellness Programs Lead to Improved Company Success

Beth Miller |

Wellness programs, which support healthy behaviors of employees, may not be the top priority for leaders, but when you consider that well-run wellness programs can help companies save money, it’s clear that more attention needs to be paid to them.

There are a number of benefits to implementing (or improving) wellness programs.

First of all, wellness programs can save a company money.

Multiple studies have revealed that wellness programs can save organizations money on health care costs, including:  

  • a 2002 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report showed that at workplaces with physical activity programs, employers reduced healthcare costs by 20 to 50%;
  • Johnson & Johnson saved $250 million on health care costs in a decade through wellness programs. From 2002 to 2008, the return was almost $3 for every dollar spent;
  • a 2010 study published in the Harvard Business Review, “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?”, found that can wellness programs can result in as much as $6 in health care savings for every $1 invested;
  • a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion demonstrated that health care costs rose at a 15% slower rate among wellness program participants when employers consistently offered wellness programs to employees; and
  • a review of 72 studies published in the American Journal of Health Promotions showed an average corporate wellness return on investment of $3.48 per $1.

Other than savings in health care costs, the study above also showed an ROI of $5.83 per $1 when examining absenteeism.

Here are some other benefits to consider:

  1. Increased employee productivity. A 2002 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report showed an increase in productivity by 2 to 52%.
  2. Reduced workplace injuries.
  3. Improved employee morale and loyalty.
  4. Higher rates of employee retention.
  5. Happier employees.

Larger companies are more likely to offer wellness programs than smaller companies; and usually larger companies run the programs themselves while smaller companies typically use the firms that administer their health benefits plan or another third-party provider.

And finally, more and more employees are looking for companies with good wellness programs. Having a wellness program as part of your overall benefits package can help to attract and retain employees who value health and wellness. Ultimately a well run program can help you to attract healthier employees into your workforce which can help to increase profitability.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Aberdeen Proving Ground

Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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