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An organization is nothing without its employees. And an employee performs to their fullest potential when they are healthy and happy. This is why the concept of workplace wellness is such a topic of conversation: the benefits for employees and the employer are impressive.
The idea behind workplace wellness is that there are different measures an employer can take to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle within the organization. Eighty percent of Americans work in jobs that require little or no physical activity which results in more doctor’s visits, lower productivity, more sick days, and overall poor health. To combat this, businesses are getting creative and implementing a variety of wellness programs. Some programs that have been proven to work are:
- Weight loss challenges
- Provision of healthy lunches/snacks
- Stand-up desks
- Discounted or comp gym memberships
- Walk-and-talk meetings
- Step count contests
- On-site fitness centers
- Smoking cessation programs
When employees feel like they’re all working towards a goal together, there is an improved sense of camaraderie and higher morale within the workplace. People also tend to get more work done when they are well-rested and in good health both mentally and physically. This elevated level of productivity benefits both the staff and the employer. Not to mention the average amount of sick leave is reduced by 28% in organizations that have implemented wellness programs.
From an insurance perspective, there are significant advantages of workplace wellness programs in terms of employee benefits. The key is to refocus the medical expense spend. Currently, for every $1 spent on healthcare $0.95 is spent on treatment and only $0.05 is spent on prevention. When an organization chooses to invest their money in wellness programs in order to prevent (rather than to treat) illness, the ROI is high. Studies have shown that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every $1 spent on wellness programs. It doesn’t take a mathematician to deduce that making workplace wellness a priority can save an organization a considerable amount in medical costs (26% on average) in the long run.
In the interest of both the employees- who are the heart of any organization- and the organization itself, it is imperative that workplace wellness is kept on the radar. To learn more, contact any of us at Propel Insurance.