What are Employee wellness programs?
Wellness programs are initiatives started by employers and organizations to provide employees with a healthy lifestyle. These programs aim to improve employees’ health and productivity and help them overcome particular health-related issues.
Employee wellness programs are becoming increasingly common in companies of each size. Now, it has become standard even in smaller companies. Therefore, It is effectively becoming part of other “standard employee benefits” companies provide, such as 401K, paid time off, and health insurance.
Wellness programs include a variety of plans and practices like,
- Paramedics services
- Yoga classes
- On-site fitness centers
- Employee assistance programs
- Lunch and healthy snacks
- Smoking cessation programs etc.,
Why are Employee wellness programs important?
Employees are the backbone of a company. A significant share of a company’s growth depends on the employees. An employer alone can’t run the whole business. Therefore, employers are seriously focusing on employee wellness programs.
Employers are now curious about wellness programs regarding the company’s fast growth. However, they should also want to know the importance and benefits of employee wellness programs. Before implementation, they will undoubtedly want to ensure the benefits of wellness programs to companies and what they can expect in return.
Proper implementation of workplace wellness programs benefits both employees and employers. Thus, It motivates the employees to take more care of their health. It will improve the excellent behavior of employees. Employees can get proper treatment and get cured soon when they timely become aware of their illness. Furthermore, the absenteeism number of employees will also decrease with this practice.
6 benefits of Employee wellness programs
There are several benefits of workplace well-being programs for both employees and employers. included,
- Lower health care and insurance cost
- Decrease the number of absences
- Improved productivity and engagement
- lessen workplace injuries, workers’ compensation claims, and disability claims
- Better employee morale
- Easier to recruit and keep employees
- Employee wellness programs increase healthy behaviors:
Employees spend almost a whole day at work, and it can badly affect their well-being and behavior. Workplace wellness programs help employees keep a healthy lifestyle by adopting healthy behaviors. Therefore, we educate, motivate, and support the employees regarding their health through these programs.
We connect employees to life change programs such as the National diabetes prevention program (DPP). The employees connected to such life change programs have a lasting impact on health and show active and healthy behavior.
DPP conducted a study on overweight prediabetic participants. They check the effectiveness of different treatments on these participants. The study concluded that participants connected to the lifestyle change program lost weight. Furthermore, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and the risk of heart disease are also reduced. There was also a decrease in blood pressure and triglyceride level in these participants.1
2. Employee wellness programs decrease the healthcare cost:
Health risks lead to more healthcare costs. If you are ill or diseased, America’s medical care system is excellent for getting treatment but is also very expensive. America’s medical system is built to treat, not prevent, the disease.
A well-being wellness program helps the employees maintain their health and prevent them from using our expensive medical care system. A Health-related appraisal (HRP) study was conducted to check the risk-related excess cost of time away from work, pharmacy claims, medical claims, and overall costs for treatment. Results showed that the participants with high health risks have 3.97 times more healthcare expenses than others.2
Employee wellness programs help employees identify health risks timely by regular medical check-ups. According to a study, employees spend 30% less in overall per-employee per-year claims in lab-based testing offered by wellness programs.
3. An employee wellness program improves productivity and engagement:
A sound body has a sound mind, and a person with a healthy and fresh mind can focus more on the work. A healthy person can engage adequately with other employees and will do better teamwork. Resultantly, this healthy teamwork will increase the productivity of employees and the company’s bottom line. It also enhances the employee’s satisfaction with his job.
It is neglected that indirect costs of poor health, such as absenteeism, lessening work output, and disability to do work, are higher than the medical costs themselves. A survey showed that the productivity losses due to employee illness cost U.S employers $225.8 billion per year. 3
Employee wellness programs develop a positive connection between the employees and create a sense of community among them. A study was conducted to check the behaviors of employees in a healthy, engaging environment. Studies concluded that 62% of employees stated that their work positively affects their physical health. Furthermore, 78% of employees said their work made them psychologically healthy.4
4. Employee wellness programs decrease absenteeism:
Properly implemented workplace health programs can save up to 25% on absenteeism.5 There are several ways through which wellness programs can improve the worker’s health, and as a result, absenteeism will also decrease.
Workplace population health programs will perform the following strategies to decrease the absenteeism count. Including,
- Work on the employee’s behaviors to make them physically and mentally healthy.
- To release stress, provide different tools.
- Guide and assist employees in reducing and maintaining their glucose and blood pressure levels.
- Help the employees to maintain healthy body weight.
Wellness programs aim to prevent the disease risks instead of providing treatment after a disease arises. These programs offer regular counseling sessions to employees to make them mentally fit. Thus, a healthy employee will not get absent, and it will be directly beneficial for the employer.
5. Employee wellness programs increase retention and recruitment:
Employee wellness programs have now become a requirement of the job. About 87% of people consider a health and wellness package an essential factor before choosing an employer. Wellness programs do not remain only the perks given by the company but also have become the demand of employees.
Wellness programs will help employers to hire and retain their desired employers. Employees preferred a company who offered them well-being programs such as fitness practices, gym, healthy snacks, naps, etc. employees often remain loyal to a company that invests in their health and wellness. Implementation of wellness programs benefits the employee and lessens the medical care costs for the employer.
6. Employee wellness programs improve morale:
Employee wellness programs build company morale and develop trust among employees. This trustworthiness makes the employees more willing to do work.
Offering wellness programs show employees that they are essential and respectful to their employers. Participation in wellness programs also improves the employee’s well-being and mental health.
Employee wellness programs are continuously benefitting both the employees and employers. Its proper implementation in the company positively affects the workplace environment and employees’ behavior towards work.
2. Yen, L., Schultz, A., Schnueringer, E., & Edington, D. W. (2006). Financial costs due to excess health risks among active employees of a utility company. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 896-905.