5 Powerful Reasons Companies Should Offer More Wellness Programs to Keep Their Employees Healthier and Happier

by Dan Rafter on 7 July 2016 (0 comments)

This post is sponsored by Aflac. For more resources, tools, and insights on small business benefits, visit Aflac.com.

From gym memberships and on-site massages, to mental health coverage and meal services, according to research by the Society for Human Resource Management, a growing number of companies are boosting the health and wellness benefits that they offer to their employees. In its 2015 Strategic Benefits Survey, the Society found that 69% of human resources professionals reported that their companies offered some type of wellness program. A total of 52% of companies responding to the survey said that employee participation in these programs increased in 2014. There are powerful reasons why more and more companies are doing so — they’re seeing the astounding benefits wellness programs have on their employees, and as a result, on their bottom lines.

Wellness Programs Help Employees Be More Productive

If you're healthy, you'll be more productive. At least that's the thinking of the country's most progressive employers. According to the Division of Population Health and Workplace Health Promotion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wellness programs can actually make employees more productive. They take fewer sick days and are more engaged and motivated when at the office. It's not surprising that companies that offer wellness perks continue to do so, and even expand their offerings.

Wellness Programs Save Employers Money

Companies pay less in insurance and workers compensation costs during the year when they offer robust wellness programs, the CDC says. Healthier employees are more alert and careful, preventing accidents and other dangerous incidents. Not only that, but a program that allows employees to get checkups and screenings to monitor their health will be less expensive than treatments after things get serious.

Wellness Programs Retain Talented Workers

These programs affect retention and recruitment, too. The CDC reports that companies that offer perks such as gym memberships, weight-loss programs, and health assessments attract, and keep the most talented employees. That’s not surprising since workers report that benefits, especially ones that contribute to their health and wellbeing, give them a sense of trust and loyalty to their company.

Wellness Programs Boost Company Earnings

A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found hard evidence that employee wellness programs benefitted not just workers, but companies. The study tracked the stocks of 45 publicly traded companies that offered robust health and wellness programs from 2009 through 2014. According to the study, the stock of these companies appreciated 235% during this time compared with an appreciation rate of 159% for S&P 500 companies in general.

Supplemental Insurance Adds Peace of Mind

To help support employees during a covered illness that wellness programs can’t prevent, supplemental insurance can be an integral solution to the rising costs of out-of-pocket expenses for health care. Rather than pay high premiums or make employees bear the burden of high deductibles, specialized supplemental insurance can help alleviate costs to both the employer and employee.

For all these reasons, it’s clear that wellness programs that promote health and wellbeing in employees benefit the employers as much (or more) than the workers themselves. It should be powerful motivation for any company to look into offering or even expanding their health and wellness benefits.

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