Workplace wellness improves your bottom line

Ashley Thurow

Think about the last time you had a cold, back pain or stressful event in your life. Remember how hard to was to focus at work and feel productive? 

Now take that experience and multiply it by every person in your organization as you consider the cost of these factors over time to better understand how poor health and stress affects your business. 

Here are three ways wellness programs can make your organization more successful while improving the quality of life of your employees:

The problem: Health care costs spiral out of control, including insurance and workers’ compensation premiums as well as increasing sick leave and disability claims. The costs: In 2017, average annual health insurance premiums increased 3 percent to $18,764 for each family covered.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 86 percent of health care spending is on such chronic conditions as diabetes, depression and heart disease. On average, a person with one chronic condition with miss 20 days of work a year. The solution: Based on 42 published studies, a focused and effective wellness program could reduce health care costs and sick days by 28 percent.

The problem: Staff is unengaged and exhibits low camaraderie as the business culture fails to encourage production and effective teamwork. The costs: Employees who lack a sense of purpose and social connections at work take more sick days and are more distracted when at work. They lack passion, job satisfaction and are unlikely to recommend the company to others. Productivity suffers. The solution: Wellness programs address this in two ways. First, the employer-employee connection is enhanced because employers demonstrate they care about employee well-being. Second, employees get to know each other through group activities and friendly challenge competitions. Fully 70 percent of employees believe wellness programs contribute to their overall job satisfaction.

The problem: Hidden overhead costs reduce profitability, and a variety of small factors combine to hurt the bottom line. The costs: A set of undesirable things happen when employees aren’t engaged. Employee turnover and labor costs increase. It’s difficult to recruit in a competitive market without a wellness program. Customer service goes down and the cost of finding new customers goes up. Employees are at work less and more distracted when they are. The solution: Enjoy returns on employee investments. Fully 65 percent of companies saw these improvements when implementing wellness programs, all of which increase productivity and reputation: 16 percent increase in employee sense of purpose, 22 percent increase in sense of great work being done, 16 percent increase in engagement, 24 percent increase in sense of opportunity and 19 percent increase in employee perceptions of leadership.

It could be you already have the money to pay for a wellness program, but are spending it in ways you don’t realize. The obvious and hidden costs associated with poor employee health and low employee engagement add up to sap your organization of vitality and success.

A consultation with an established, professional, workplace wellness organization can help you recognize opportunities to save money, improve your bottom line, increase employee morale and efficiency and grow your business.