Employee wellness programs are good for business. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 -$6 return. Three reasons why your company needs an employee wellness program:
1) Health Increases Productivity
It should come as no surprise that unhealthy, sleep-deprived, stressed out, inactive or overweight employees perform worse at work than their healthy peers. Reports have shown an inverse relationship between employee stress levels and measures of employee efficiency as well as inverse relationships between employee stress and overall job performance. Click here to learn more about stress in the workplace. Physical activity has been shown to improve memory and concentration, increase energy levels, and improve brain health over time – reducing the risk of cognitive decline. But the benefits go beyond productivity, an employee that feels like the company takes in interest in their health and wellbeing is more likely to want to perform to the best of their ability and to talk positively about the company outside the office.
2) Poor Employee Health Increases Incidences of Workplace Accidents & Injury
Studies have demonstrated time and time again that healthier employees are less likely to experience a workplace accident or injury. Specifically, some data suggests that smokers are more likely to have a workplace injury1, that diabetics incur five times higher workers' comp costs when injured2, and there is a linear relationship between workers' comp claims and employee BMI3. One report suggests that by combining employee chronic health condition management with workplace safety programs, companies see a greater reduction in absenteeism; a greater reduction in workers’ compensation claims volume; and a greater reduction in overall workers’ compensation costs vs. managing employee health and workplace safety separately.
3) Healthy Employees Cost Less
Each year, employee absenteeism equates to an estimated $16 billion or more in direct lost revenue to Canadian employers4. Interestingly, about 60% of absenteeism is said to be stress-related. It is estimated that nearly half of employers in Canada don’t consistently track employee absenteeism nor track the specific causes of individual absentee instances. Time away from work is a large part of the wellness ROI equation – particularly when looking at near term and direct costs. However, the longer term impacts of poor employee health are often larger than employers realize. Canadian employees with two or more lifestyle risk factors (eg. being sedentary, being overweight or obese, smoking, or high alcohol intake) are absent over 50% more often than those without the risk factors, and cost up to three times more in health benefit costs5. What many employers fail to account for however, is the other more indirect costs of unhealthy employees such as the cost of recruiting and training replacement workers and the cumulative negative impact that unhealthy employees have on employee morale.
While most wellness providers merely recommend employee health interventions on a consultative basis – Medisys executes the health interventions onsite and then monitors employee health outcomes over time to ensure the employee is seeing measurable returns on their wellness investment. To further explore the costs of implementing a wellness program, click here.
1. American Lung Association, 1/05/10
2. Coventry Workers Comp Services, 2010
3. NCCI Holdings, 2011 4. Ontario, H.S., The business case for a healthy workplace, W.S.P. Services., Editor. 2011 5. Canada, T.C.B.o., Missing in Action: Absenteeism Trends in Canadian Organizations. 2013. p