I believe it is safe to say that a wellness solution can offer several positive attributes to your company’s overall well-being (pun intended). It can have an optimistic effect on employee engagement, morale, and job satisfaction. A wellness program can decrease health care costs, decrease absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as decrease workplace injuries which result in less lost time. We know that healthy employees are more engaged in their work and therefore, are more productive. Turnover rates decrease with engaged employees, sales and market share increase, and the bottom line is positively affected.
So you implemented a wellness program to experience all of these benefits, but when will you see the change? It takes time and it takes a wellness program that is sustainable and offers worthwhile incentives. On average, a robust wellness program takes approximately 3-5 years to show a hard return. On the flip side, you will likely see a soft return in the first year. Meaning your employees will show their appreciation because they see that you care about their health and are investing in their success. They will value their job and your company because you value them.
The key is sticking it out. Many companies get frustrated too quickly expecting to see an immediate ROI and then back out when they don't. I’ve seen it happen all too often. If you are going to invest know that it is a long-term investment. Yes, a wellness program can be costly, but at what expense? Healthy happy employees and a thriving business? Remember the old saying, “Sometimes you have to spend a little to make a little”.
Not all of your employees are going to jump on the wellness bandwagon the minute your program launches. It takes time for some to warm up to the idea. Some wait to see the response from others. They want to know it really works, it's safe, and that they are indeed going to be incentivized. Each year you will notice more and more employees engaging in the program and walking and talking wellness. If you give your program the time it needs to infect your employees you will eventually be the proud CEO of a company where wellness is the norm.