Did you know that workplace wellness is essential to the success of your organization? It’s true! Implementing a wellness program can improve employee productivity, reduce healthcare costs, and improve morale. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of workplace wellness and getting started in your organization.
What Is Workplace Wellness?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines workplace wellness as activities that improve or maintain employees’ health and well-being. This may include a wide range of programs, from those focusing on lifestyle choices such as smoking to those targeting chronic diseases such as diabetes. In addition, workplace wellness programs can also focus on mental health and well-being, such as stress and depression.
Employee Workplace Wellness Programs
Providing a workplace wellness program for employees is a win-win situation – employees benefit from an improved quality of life and work toward their goals. In contrast, employers benefit from increased productivity and reduced healthcare costs. The CDC notes that employers who offer wellness programs experience an average return on investment of $3.27 for every dollar spent on the program. In addition, employees who participate in wellness programs are absent less often than those who do not.
What Is The Return On Investment?
Return on investment (ROI) is a calculation used to determine how profitable something will be in the future. The calculation for workplace wellness goes like this:
(Healthcare Savings) x (Employee Annual Rate of Productivity) = $3.27
For example, if your company spends $5,000 annually on employee healthcare and each employee who participates in a workplace wellness program is absent 10% less than those who do not participate, the ROI of your wellness program is $100.
When developing a workplace wellness program for your organization, consider how to measure its success so you can calculate ROI. For example, will employees complete biometric screenings? Provide lifestyle training? Participate in surveys? Complete other forms of assessments or evaluations? Successful programs may have different measures for different goals, such as reducing stress or improving nutrition.
Other Benefits Of Workplace Wellness
In addition to reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity, workplace wellness can reduce absenteeism and bring many other benefits for employees. The Mayo Clinic defines a healthy work environment as one “in which employers support employee health by providing opportunities that encourage physical activity, dietary health, and behaviors that reduce the risk of disease, such as smoking cessation.” Workplaces that promote healthy lifestyles may benefit from less employee turnover, fewer on-the-job injuries, lower insurance premiums, and higher morale.
Workplace Wellness Can Include:
- Smoking Cessation
- Nutrition Education
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
- Worksite Fitness Programs
- Lifestyle Training
- Biometric Screenings
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Importance of Workplace Wellness
Employees spend a large portion of their lives at work – it is important to them and your organization. Workplace wellness programs benefit the health and well-being of employees. Still, they bring about a wide range of benefits for employers, from increased productivity to reduced healthcare costs.
With all the benefits workplace wellness offers, many companies have started to offer programs tailored to fit their employees’ needs. This can include biometric screenings and lifestyle training to smoking cessation and worksite fitness programs.
Benefits of having Employee Wellness Programs
Employee health is an essential topic for employers. When healthy employees are more productive, miss fewer workdays, and have lower healthcare costs, it benefits everyone involved.
Having wellness programs in the workplace strengthens relationships between employees while giving them access to information to improve their quality of life.
- Decreasing Health Risks: Workplace wellness programs can reduce health risks, such as a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. In addition, employees who participate in these programs have a more positive view of their employer, leading to increased employee morale.
- Better Productivity: Healthier Employees are more productive while they’re at work. When employees are less stressed because of lack of sleep or unhealthy eating habits, productivity decreases.
- Decreased Healthcare Costs: According to the CDC, “To create a healthy workforce, employers need to do more than provide access to insurance or ‘play’ the health care game. Employers must learn about strategies that work for their workplaces and implement them.” For example, healthy employees are less likely to miss work because of poor health because they’re less stressed. This saves the employer money because fewer sick days are being taken.
- Long-Term Labor Costs: A healthier, happier workforce means lower turnover rates. This is better for the business in the long run because it costs a lot to hire and train new employees. With higher turnover rates, an employer may spend more money hiring new workers while also losing productivity during the training process.
- Improved Morale: Employees that feel valued and supported can be more productive and provide a better quality of work. Employees will feel like they belong to something greater than themselves with a strong social network. Workplace wellness programs give employees access to information on how to improve their health while strengthening relationships with each other.
Also Read – Why Is Identity Important In The Workplace?
How can workplaces encourage employees to participate in wellness programs?
When it comes to workplace wellness, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Different demographics and interests need additional messages when it comes to staying healthy. If an employer wants their employees to participate in these programs, they need to ensure that their workplace wellness program is tailored to fit their employees’ needs.
Employers should engage employees interested in joining a fitness center by providing them with the opportunity and the means. By incentivizing healthy behaviors, it can show employees that there are benefits of staying fit for themselves and the company.
Employers interested in having wellness programs should assess their workforce to see what programs will work best with their employees. For example, suppose an employer wants to offer their employees healthy eating options. In that case, they can provide them with access to fresh produce or incentivize them by offering money off of certain products.
Healthy lifestyle training works better with a younger workforce, whereas chronic disease management is better for older employees.
If companies provide employees with the means and support to take control of their health, the employees will be more engaged and productive in the workplace.
The benefits of a healthy workforce are more easily accessible if there is a comprehensive workplace wellness program in place. By engaging employees and offering incentives for staying healthy, employers can ensure that they get the most out of their employees and even their workforce as a whole.