In recent years employers have seen an increasing need to better incentivize their employees/potential candidates, ultimately resulting in higher quality personnel.
Some of these incentives can include health and wellness benefits. While some employers may initially disregard such a need, it is important to note that by putting the wellness and health of your employees first, you are positively impacting your bottom line.
You can offer your employees health benefits in a variety of ways. These should go above and beyond just helping to supplement healthcare costs and are more focused on wellness. Among the programs offered at some companies are gym memberships, exercise programs or activities, nutrition education, health screenings, stress reduction programs, and incentives for health and wellness.
There are lots of benefits to making wellness a priority in your workforce. Among the most beneficial are as follows:
1. Reduce Costs
By implementing wellness programs, a company is creating an environment of health in their business. This health conscience environment leads to its employees forming or maintaining better health practices. Among these practices is less smoking and alcohol use, and addictive behaviors in general. Better eating and exercise habits are also formed that lead to better health overall. This focus on proper nutrition and exercise directly impacts weight. Weight is often the culprit of a myriad of ailments, one of the chief offenders being diabetes.
Not only is the physical health of the employees positively impacted by this health conscience environment, but the mental well-being as well. Studies have shown that proper nutrition and exercise significantly impact the mental health of individuals, among them being depression.
This health-centric focus leads to a decrease in healthcare costs due to a decrease in premiums, and an increase in incentives that many health insurance companies provide when they take on less risky individuals. The number of sick days also tend to decrease as individuals are more health conscious as well.
2. Increase Productivity
When employees are dealing with illness, injury, or mental challenges in their personal life, it is more difficult for them to focus on the day-to-day in their professional life. Due to this split focus, there is a loss of productivity in the workplace, because although an employee may be physically present at work, they are mentally checked out and not performing at a higher level of productivity. A study found that “health promotion interventions aimed at improving nutrition and physical and mental health also may contribute to reducing presenteeism (this split focus and idea of not being mentally present)”.
In addition, by promoting wellness, over 90% of businesses say there is an increase in productivity and performance.
3. Contribute to Employee Retention Due to a Better Work Environment
Well-cared-for employees result in greater satisfaction on the job, and thus, higher levels of job retention. When the workplace becomes a community, as the employees and employer are both engaging in planned and focused activities that help individuals achieve their personal goals and professional goals, your employees won’t want to leave. In fact, studies have found that 67% of employees like their jobs better when wellness plans are implemented.
If employers were to take this a step further and organize health-centric events for the whole family, then the employers would have created a community of such value and importance to the employee that they are loyal to the company in return. Many people are looking for that sense of community. By creating this within the workplace, where the worker devotes so much of their time, it becomes invaluable.
In addition, with the focus and participation in workplace-centered wellness, the overall job satisfaction will increase, and happy and engaged employees result in higher levels of productivity.
By promoting health and wellness in the workplace, you are creating not only a healthier employee, but also a healthier work environment. One your employees will be thankful for.
All of these ideas are interconnected; healthier employees reduce healthcare costs, and increase productivity, while at the same time reducing sick days and also presenteeism. These are legitimate reasons why companies should be embracing and supporting the health and wellness of their employees, ultimately impacting the business’s bottom line.
When a company takes preventative measures to increase the health of their employees, they are increasing everyone’s ability to succeed.