Think you know everything there is to know about corporate wellness programs? These statistics will still surprise you.
They may also spark some ideas about how to improve your company’s program.
Wellness programs have exploded in popularity over the past decade, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve been proven to lessen health care costs, reduce absenteeism and increase employees’ job satisfaction. Wellness programs can bring companies a return on investment as large as $6 for every dollar they spend. And that’s true in spite of our next fact:
Only 24% of eligible employees at large companies participate in wellness programs.
If wellness programs are effective despite low employee engagement, imagine how much more money companies could save if 40%, 50% or more of their employees got involved. The good news is that there are many easy ways to increase engagement (read about some of them here). For starters, consider the next fact on this list:
Forty percent of employees don’t even know that their employers have wellness programs!
It’s astonishing but true: After spending so much time and effort implementing wellness programs, many companies fail to promote them. For these organizations, increasing engagement may be as simple as giving everyone a heads up that the program exists!
Only 10% of companies use social media to promote their wellness programs.
Social media’s so popular that many companies now have employees who do nothing but handle their social media strategy. But these same companies fail to harness the power of social media when it comes to their wellness programs. That’s a shame, because social media’s a cost-effective way to create a buzz and spread information about upcoming events.
There’s often a disconnect between what employees want from a wellness program and what employers provide—in this case, more information about how to eat better. Survey your workforce to determine what their health concerns and interests are.
Employers are far more likely to reward employees for taking health assessments than for exercising. This is counterintuitive, as the point of a wellness program is to improve employees’ health habits. Assessments are a good starting point, but if employees don’t follow up on the information they receive during an assessment, their health won’t improve. Exercise, on the other hand, is the kind of healthy behavior companies ought to incentivize.
Seventy-six percent of wellness program participants say they’re happier, healthier, more energetic and have lost weight.
Wellness programs can do wonders for your staff’s health, not to mention their productivity and morale. Though it takes a little work to get them up and running, your efforts will pay off in the long run.