Far from being thought of as a frill or a feel-good PR initiative, wellness programs are now considered a vital part of corporate life. Eighty-five percent of large companies and 83% of small ones offer their employees wellness programs, up from just 54% in 2008. It’s not hard to see why wellness programs have seen such astronomical growth: They save companies money while improving employees’ quality of life.
If your company’s still in the 15–20% of employers that have yet to implement a wellness program, here are five compelling reasons why you should adopt one.
A wellness program’s not just a sunk cost. In the long run, it’ll actually save your company money. A Harvard study determined that companies save about $6 in health care and absenteeism-related costs for every $1 they spend on wellness programs. Your program will pay for itself even if only 1% of your employees significantly reduce their risk of chronic health problems.
Employees are less likely to leave companies that have wellness programs. When the Biltmore resort complex introduced a wellness program, for example, its turnover rate dropped from 19% to 9%. Forty-five percent of employees name health and fitness programs as a key reason they stay with their current employer.
As a recruitment tool.
Having a great wellness program can give you an edge in attracting top talent. Employees now expect companies to have wellness programs, and factor the quality of these programs into their decisions about where to work. In a Lee Hecht Harrison survey, job candidates were asked which perks would make them most likely to accept a job. Though benefits like tuition remission and use of a company car were on the list, candidates most often chose subsidized gym membership—a component of many wellness programs—as the most appealing.
Wellness programs reduce rates of absenteeism and presenteeism, and improve employees’ energy levels, concentration, memory, mood and even brain function. All these benefits translate to greater productivity.
Seventy-seven percent of employees say wellness programs positively influence a company’s culture. A good wellness program shows employees that their company cares about their health, which generates loyalty and often makes them feel more warmly towards their employer. Getting fit gives employees a common cause to rally around, while wellness activities provide opportunities for socialization, increasing camaraderie. Plus, fit employees are often happier, healthier, more relaxed, and more energetic employees, which can’t help but improve morale.
The tangible and intangible benefits of wellness programs more than justify their cost. They’re a strong investment in both your employees’ well-being and your bottom line.
Want to learn how you can save more money by investing in a company fitness program?