Wellness programs can pay dividends for both employers and their employees. And the best part is that you don’t need to make a major investment to see a great return.
Why promote employee wellness?
Wellness programs have been shown to create happier, healthier employees and a more productive workforce.
A 2010 study in Health Affairs found that every dollar a business spends on wellness causes medical costs to drop $3.27, and absenteeism costs to drop $2.73.
Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, told EHSToday that in his study of one large company, he found the company lost eight days of productivity per full-time employee every year due to both absenteeism and presenteeism (coming to work despite being sick).
How to promote employee wellness
There are several cost-efficient ways to instill a wellness culture in your business.
Inc.com suggests making healthy food available, restricting weekend work and promoting friendly fitness competitions. You could even purchase pedometers for your employees (they only cost a few dollars) and use them to score your weekly or monthly competitions.
The Wall Street Journal recommends removing junk food from the vending machines and offering education about the benefits of healthy eating.
Communication is key
The Wall Street Journal encourages businesses to keep their focus on improving employee health. Communicate how your company is conducting the wellness program, first and foremost, because you care about your employees’ well-being.
While money-saving and productivity increases may be side-benefits of your efforts, your employees should know their health comes first, and matters most, to you.
You don’t need a big budget to do wellness well. Try implementing a few small changes and see how you can improve the health of your employees and business.