Workplace Wellness: Why Promote Wellness?

Wellness issues important to you – brought to you by the insurance specialists at Cambridge Benefit Solutions.

What is Workplace Wellness?

Workplace wellness refers to the education and activities that a worksite may do to promote healthy lifestyles to employees and their families. Examples of wellness programming include such things as health education classes, subsidized use of fitness facilities, internal policies that promote healthy behavior, and any other activities, policies or environmental changes that affect the health of employees. Wellness programs can be simple or complex. Many programs require a minimal investment of time and money. More substantial programs often use more resources, but the many benefits to supporting and encouraging employee health and safety outweigh the costs.

Why Workplace Wellness?

It affects your company’s bottom line in many ways. Here are three key factors:

  • Decreased health care costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Better morale

Rising health care benefit costs are a significant concern and poor health habits and unnecessary medical care costs consume portions of our corporate resources as well as the employee paycheck. The worksite is an ideal setting for health promotion and disease prevention programs. Employees spend many of their waking hours at work, nearing 50 hours per week on average. That is why the workplace is an ideal setting to address health and wellness issues.

Why Start a Company Wellness Program?

Wellness programs help control costs. An investment in your employees’ health may lower health care costs or slow the increase in providing that important benefit. In fact, employees with more risk factors, including being overweight, smoking and having diabetes, cost more to insure and pay more for health care than people with fewer risk factors.

An employee wellness program can raise awareness so employees with fewer risk factors remain in a lower-cost group. A program also can encourage employees with health risk factors to make lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life and lower costs. The payoff in dollars as well as in quality of life can have a big impact on your company’s bottom line.

Healthier employees are more productive. This has been demonstrated in factory settings and in office environments in which workers with workplace wellness initiatives miss less work. Presenteeism, in which employees are physically present on the job but are not at their most productive or effective, is reduced in workplaces that have wellness programs.

Healthier employees miss less work. Companies that support wellness and healthy decisions have a greater percentage of employees at work every day. Because health frequently carries over into better family choices, your employees may miss less work caring for ill family members as well. The cost savings of providing a wellness program can be measured against reduced overtime to cover absent employees and other aspects of absenteeism.

Improve morale and enhanced image for the organization. A company that cares about its employees’ health is often seen as a better place to work. Those companies save money by retaining workers who appreciate the benefit of a wellness program and they can attract new employees in a competitive market.