Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs: Easy to Find
Employer’s are learning that Employee Wellness Programs is an effective way
to increase productivity, improve staff member health, reduce health care costs
and reduce rates of absence.
A report published in 2003 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) highlighted how important it is for employers to incorporate Employee
Wellness Programs as part of their business strategy. The report asserts that
chronic diseases which are largely preventable place a heavy toll on corporation,
including lower productivity and higher medical insurance costs.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that $1.66 trillion was
spent on health care in 2003 and it attributes a majority of those costs to
chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and
asthma. Sadly, the money allocated for preventing or controlling these conditions
In a recent article, American Cancer Society CEO John Seffrin reported two
thirds of cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented through lifestyle changes
in diet, exercise, cancer testing and “especially” tobacco use.
A well-designed Employee Wellness Programs initiative serves the best interests
of employees and employers alike.
Benefits of Wellness Progams: Return On Investment
Ron Goetzel, a nationally recognized expert in the science of health management,
data analysis and applied research, said in a recent interview that with an
investment of $100 to $150 per staff member per year in Employee Wellness Programs,
an employer can expect an average ROI of approximately $3 for every $1
invested ($300 to $450 savings per staff member per year). Goetzel says, however,
that these returns are not typically found until two to three years into the
Employee Wellness Program.
Benefits of Wellness Progams: Tax Breaks
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has been an outspoken proponent in seeking legislative
solutions for a strained health care system.
“As a nation, we have a ‘sick care’ system that is focused
on helping employees after they get sick, rather than a ‘health care’
system which focuses on keeping healthy employees healthy,” he says.
Harkin introduced the Healthy Lifestyle and Prevention (HeLP) America Act of
2004. One of the initiatives under Title II – Healthier Communities and Workplaces,
provides tax credits to organizations that offer comprehensive programs to promote
staff member health and grants for small corporation.
Benefits of Wellness Progams: Getting Started
Implementing a Employee Wellness Programs can be accomplished with simple,
• Offer incentives for participation.
• Create a wellness informational campaign.
• Schedule wellness seminars on diabetes, nutrition, exercise and cholesterol.
• Create initiatives such as fitness, sleep diary, tobacco use cessation
and injury prevention.
• Offer onsite chair massages or simple stretching exercises to do at
• Change snack machine options to offer healthier, low-fat snacks and
• Actively promote staff member participation in all Employee Wellness
A successful Employee Wellness Plan can boost corporation morale, enhance productivity,
reduce organizational conflict, attract superior workers and reduce the rate
of staff member turnover. The case for beginning a Employee Wellness Plan is
well worth the effort.