The last few decades have seen a surge in the popularity of corporate wellness programs. From their beginnings as simple sickness monitoring schemes in the 1950s, they have developed into wide-ranging, holistic operations of some complexity. Around 75% of large companies now offer some form of wellness program, and this proportion only increases with the size of the company.
While it’s clear that a properly designed and funded wellness program can be an attractive benefit for employees, it’s not necessarily so obvious how it benefits the company itself, considering the costs involved. Here are five reasons wellness should be a vital concern.
Days missed through sickness not only impact on the productivity of an individual employee, but on the performance of colleagues who need to cover for the absence. This takes them away from their own jobs, and raises their stress levels. A well-run wellness program can have a strongly positive impact on absenteeism, to the benefit of the staff as a whole.
As well as reducing stress caused by absenteeism, improving the health of your staff will tend to leave them in a better frame of mind. They will be happier in their work, and therefore more productive and proactive. There will usually be lower levels of friction between employees when each feels the others are contributing fully, and more management energy can be put towards improving business performance rather than fighting fires.
Less Employee Churn
This improvement in morale will also lead to a reduction in staff turnover as happier, less-stressed employees will tend to stay longer in their positions. This greatly reduces the ongoing drain on resources caused by a repeated cycles of recruitment, training, and resignation.
Attract Better Staff
Although a competitive salary is important when seeking to attract the highest caliber of staff, high-quality fringe benefits as part of the overall remuneration package can be a powerful additional draw. A comprehensive wellness program that includes items such as gym membership or discounted health plans can be of great help in recruiting and retaining the best employees.
Decreased Healthcare Costs
If your company offers a health insurance scheme as part of a fringe benefits package, then adding a wellness program can greatly reduce the costs. Insurers will recognize that a wellness program is likely to reduce the cost of any claims your employees make, and so they will lower the premiums on group policies accordingly. In a large company with many staff, this can result in considerable savings.
Considering the above benefits, it’s clear that wellness programs offer significant advantages for companies that take them seriously. Whether the program involves something as simple as free medical advice and health monitoring, or a more comprehensive package including on-site fitness facilities and free health care, the benefits for business will greatly outweigh the costs involved.