Employee wellness is something that matters to both employees and employers. A healthy employee is happier and more productive, which reflects well on the business and keeps everyone satisfied. But if you don’t have a formal corporate wellness program, you probably aren’t focusing enough on the health of your employees.
The Business-Side Benefits of Employee Wellness
Health and wellness is a very personal thing, clearly benefiting the individual more than anyone or anything else. But the advantages of managing a workforce full of healthy employees extend far beyond the employee-side benefits. Businesses stand a lot to gain from putting employee wellness first. Let’s check out some of the specific benefits:
Happiness. According to a 2012 study by AFLAC, employees who participate in workplace wellness programs are more satisfied with their jobs. This is tied to the fact that wellness programs show employees that the company cares for them. They also makes people physically feel better.
Enhanced productivity. It’s no surprise that physical activity and good nutrition positively affect the brain. The long-term benefits are more energy, better focus, and extra motivation. Those are valuable benefits, regardless of the industry or role.
Stronger community. Employee wellness programs are great for companies that are simultaneously trying to strengthen their culture and bring employees closer together. With group activities, challenges, and common “non-work” goals, organizations have discovered that wellness programs play a major role in forging stronger, longer lasting communities.
Cost savings. Harvard Business Review reports that, since 1995, the percentage of Johnson & Johnson employees who smoke has dropped by two-thirds. Furthermore, the number of people with high blood pressure and physical inactivity has been cut in half. Why does this matter? It’s tied to the company’s investment in employee wellness, which has saved J&J $250 million on healthcare expenses over the past decade. In fact, the return has been $2.71 for every dollar spent.
These are just a few of the business-side benefits of an investment in employee wellness, but they show the impressive return a formal health and wellness program can bring to the sponsoring organization.
Three Keys to a Successful Program Launch
Simply developing and launching a corporate wellness program isn’t enough. There’s a big difference between an average program and one that’s highly effective. According to the same Harvard Business Review report, organizations with programs that are deemed as having “low effectiveness” experience volunteer attrition rates of 15 percent, while companies with “highly-effective” programs see, on average, just 9 percent voluntary attrition. Specifically, software company SAS Institute has seen voluntary turnover drop from 19 percent in 2005 to just 4 percent more recently.
In other words, if you’re going to invest time, energy, and resources into developing and launching a corporate wellness program that’s aimed at producing the aforementioned benefits, you have to focus on a successful launch and execution.