The headline for this article will cause a heated debate. On one hand, workplace wellness programs cost money and don’t provide a glowing ROI – right away. On another hand, the correct hand, workplace wellness programs will save companies countless dollars. Healthy employees are more productive and creative. Healthy employees will need fewer sick days and are less prone to developing conditions that can affect insurance rates.
No matter what your stance is on workplace wellness programs, this Rand study says workplace wellness programs are worth the time and money invested in them. Beyond what the study says, or what I say in the rest of this article, shouldn’t you want to give employees an opportunity to lead a healthier, more productive life?
I should back up slightly and define what I mean by workplace wellness programs. According to Healthcare.gov, “A program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that’s usually offered through the workplace, although insurance plans can offer them directly to their enrollees. The program allows your employer or plan to offer you premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives to participate. Some examples of wellness programs include programs to help you stop smoking, diabetes management programs, weight loss programs, and preventative health screenings.”
The most debated workplace wellness program is lifestyle management. Most other programs are becoming more and more accepted.
Lifestyle management programs help employees learn:
- About healthy food choices
- How to exercise
- How to find time to exercise
- How to quit Smoking
- How to lose weight
- How to control blood pressure
There is much more to the list, but those are the key bullet points. At-risk employees that suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, tobacco addiction can only be helped through a lifestyle management program. Other programs such as an annual physical will identify these issues or diseases, but that’s as far as it goes. It is then up to employees to decide to change and find a way to eat healthier, lose weight, exercise and quit smoking. This will happen rarely without help, motivation and a program to show them the way. Without help, these at-risk employees can lead to costly heath care claims.
Health screenings, personal health assessments or biometric testing can find at-risk employees. Once employees know they have, or will possibly develop, a health issue, providing the employees with incentives and a lifestyle management program will reduce absentee days, sluggish performance at work and reduce health care claims. There is no downside to healthy, happy employees.
Contact me for more information on my lifestyle management programs or to get a roadmap on where to start.