Employees typically dread the words “cost-saving measures.” When companies make cutbacks, they picture weaker benefits programs, fewer perks, skimpier raises or even imminent layoffs. But there’s one cost-saving measure that improves morale, job satisfaction and working conditions: the wellness program.
Wellness programs improve companies’ finances precisely because they make employees happier and healthier. Here are four key ways healthier employees save your company money and help it to earn more:
They require less health care spending.
Sixty-one percent of employers say that their health care costs drop after implementing a wellness program, and it’s not hard to see why. When employees become fitter, they reduce their risk of both minor and chronic health conditions, and require less care. One study found that when workers go from the high-risk to the low-risk category, their medical care costs drop by an average of $1,421 a year. Over time, wellness programs can save companies millions on health care. When Johnson & Johnson implemented a wellness program, it saved $250 million over six years on health care costs, for a return of $2.71 on every dollar it spent.
They miss work less often.
Poor health is costly. In the United States, employers lose an estimated $576 billion each year due to absenteeism, presenteeism and workers’ compensation. Wellness programs can help prevent some of these costs, as healthy employees miss fewer work days than ones who aren’t fit. One study, for example, found that people who don’t exercise take twice as many sick days due to colds and sore throats than people who exercise four to six days a week. Seventy-eight percent of employers say their wellness programs have reduced absenteeism.
They’re more productive.
Healthy employees are more productive on the job than unhealthy ones, for many reasons. Fit workers sleep better, have more energy, are more resistant to stress and even think more clearly than ones who aren’t as fit, all of which translates to better workplace performance. A whopping 80% of employers report increased productivity after participating in wellness programs.
They’re more likely to stay with your company.
Turnover costs companies big bucks. The costs of hiring and training a new employee average one-fifth of the previous employee’s salary. By improving employee retention, wellness programs save companies money. Wellness programs are a perk that employees highly value: Forty-five percent of workers say wellness programs are a key reason they stay with their employers. They also contribute to a positive workplace culture, making it more likely employees will want to stick around.
Wellness programs are a true win-win. They help employees lead healthier lives while giving them opportunities for fun and socialization. Healthier employees, in turn, are happier, more productive and less costly employees. Now that’s a cost-saving measure everyone can agree upon.
Looking to create a happier and healthier workforce?
Photo Credit: On Time, Flickr