The connection between happy and healthy employees has been established for decades – however over the course of the last few years what constitutes an ideal corporate wellness program may have changed.
Today a corporate wellness program is designed and developed suing a much more holistic approach than may have been the case only a generation ago. These more modern Selah Bodyworks wellness programs are much more comprehensive in nature.
The components of wellness programs are changing. Today healthy cafeteria food, yoga classes, seminars on work – life balance, cooking classes and systems that provide rewards for healthy living options are becoming some of the foundations of the modern corporate wellness program.
However the companies that follow this more modern approach are in the minority for a number of reasons, not least of them being the perception that such programs may be a drain on company resources and not offer a sufficient return on investment.
The direct result of these programs where the individual employee is concerned is enormously beneficial. The well-structured wellness program assists in helping quit smoking, control the effects of diabetes (and detect it earlier), diagnose the warning signs of heart disease and control high blood pressure.
In addition, a comprehensive program can help to internalize occupational health and safety messages such as the use of the correct safety equipment and also help employees cope with the effects of an ever more stressful work environment.
Of course the business benefits to an enormous degree, aside from the fact that the psychological impact of being viewed as a caring and nurturing employer are well recognized there are also quantifiable results that impact on the bottom line of the business and also have a positive effect on customer relations.
Positive effects include a lower rate of absenteeism, greater satisfaction with the employees job, greater motivation, increased sales effectiveness, higher employee retention, more effective mentoring activities, lower incidence of industrial action and a lowering of the health costs to the company.
Although some may still argue that it is challenging to quantify the financial benefits of such employee health and wellness programs there are studies that indicate concrete benefits. A 2012 study by the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that participants in such holistic programs (featuring psychological and medical support) showed a 25% reduction in sick leave and other associated costs such as disability insurance claims.
This was not the only such finding. In 2014, the Harvard Business Review surveyed 20 companies and found that those with a wellness program experienced an annual increase in health care costs of between 1 and 2%. This may not be a heartening figure – but consider the fact that during the same period the increase across the board for American companies was around 7%.
Clearly companies that have comprehensive wellness programs stand to benefit in a number of ways, including being more competitive in an increasingly cut throat marketplace, something that more and more companies are beginning to recognize. The trend towards these sorts of programs has been slow to build, but they are definitely becoming more popular.