What are the benefits to my company to start a wellness program?

Q:

What are the benefits to my company to start a wellness program?

A:

Also known as workplace health programs, a workplace wellness program is comprehensive system designed to promote and enhance employee health and safety. Workplace wellness programs have become increasingly common in recent years as more and more employers recognize the benefits of maintaining a healthy workforce. A 2009 study by the Department of Labor indicated that over 90% of employers who employee more than 200 people have implemented some type of wellness program.


The best workplace wellness programs create an environment that encourages employees to make healthy lifestyle choices in areas such as eating well and exercising. Health screenings and education further provide employees with the tools they need to stay well.


Additionally, employees who participate in workplace wellness programs benefit by reducing unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Having a healthy workforce also reduces absenteeism and improves productivity. Further, a workplace wellness program can significantly reduce employer health care costs. In one study, an employer realized over $1,400 per participant in reduced health care costs after beginning a wellness program focused on cardiac wellness and exercise. A wellness program may also reduce employee hospital admission rates by 30%.


In addition to improving the overall health of your workforce, implementing a wellness program improves your ability to recruit and retain qualified employees. Workplace wellness programs enhance employees’ job satisfaction. This benefit, in turn, leads to better employee retention numbers and a reduction in cost per hire.

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