Employee health and wellness isn't just a hot topic or a trend for the moment, it's the lives and well-being of the people who work every day to keep your company running. If you truly believe your employees are valuable, then you have an obligation to demonstrate that through workplace health benefits. Investing in your employee's wellness will contribute to their ability to show up as their best selves each day to do the great work they do for your company. If that isn't reason enough, here are 6 additional reasons why every company should be focusing on employee health and wellness.
Decrease Cost of Healthcare
There are many factors that contribute to the health of your employees. Smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and stress are three of the greatest health risks an individual could possibly face. Workplace stress affects 83% of American workers, and stressed employees spend 46% more on health care. Workplace health programs that focus on reducing these primary risks will see reduced rates of chronic illness and experience savings in health costs.
According to a massive study by the CDC, if you compare the healthcare cost between smokers and non-smokers, the difference is about $2,056 per person per year. The difference between those who are physically active and those who are not is about $1,313 per year. Studies have also shown that employee wellness programs help companies reduce their health care costs an average of $3.72 for each dollar invested. Here are some trends in the employee health and wellness space to keep an eye on.
Decrease Illness Rates
Focusing on your employees health and wellness by helping them tackle risks to their health, educating on risk factors, and enabling them to seek out more preventative care will lead to lower rates of illness overall. As employees' wellness improves, you should notice less sick individuals around the office or people taking less days off from work for illness.
However, more than just less coughs and headaches around the office, with consistent improvements in health care and employees genuinely living healthier lifestyles, there should be a decrease, or at least a flat lining, of chronic diseases. Continuous poor health decisions like smoking and being sedentary are the highest contributing factors to chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. See an increase in chronic conditions around your office is a sign you need to put a wellness program in place.
Decrease Absenteeism & Presenteeism
Absenteeism can be a massively costly issue for businesses, and if you are struggling with it, you aren't alone. It may mean, however, that your employees also probably aren't as healthy as they could be. Investing in health and wellness programs can help reduce the number of sick days your employees need to take. Also, companies average $5.06 in reduced absenteeism for each dollar invested in a wellness program.
Presenteeism can be even more costly than absenteeism as it is more difficult to see, understand, and alleviate. However, one of the primary underlying issues of presenteeism is employees coming into work when they aren't feeling well. It may be they are sick or are dealing with a chronic illness, or even just that they are distracted or stressed about something in or outside of work.
Because health and wellness programs will raise the overall level of employee health, you should see a drop in sick time requested as well as less people coming into unfit to work.
Before implementing your workplace health and wellness program, be aware of these common mistakes to avoid roadblocks in implementation.
Comprehensive health and wellness programs should include components that reduce or eliminate many of the reasons that employees are distracted or stressed throughout their workday, both inside and outside of work.
Financial wellness programs can alleviate financial concerns that employees tend to handle on the clock. Health and physical wellness offerings should allow employees to experience higher levels of overall health. This should enable individuals to get enough sleep and encourage them to be physically active which will both improve their mental state and ability to focus while at work.
Increase Employee Morale
It's no secret that employees appreciate an employer that values not only their contribution to the company but also values or cares for them as human beings. All too often employees are treated more like disposable machines than living, breathing people with complex emotions and physical and mental needs.
Investing in employee health and wellness is a great way to demonstrate how much you value the individuals that you employ. Not only will people get a boost from knowing you care, but as their health increases, they'll tend to feel better and be able to contribute in more positive ways within their teams.
Increase Retention & Loyalty
Knowing that health and wellness offerings increase morale and productivity, it probably doesn't come as any surprise that these will also have an impact on your ability to keep your employees. In fact, 45% of Americans working at small to medium-sized companies said that they would stay at their jobs longer because of employer-sponsored wellness programs, according to the Principal Financial Well-Being Index.
Not only will health and wellness programs allow you to keep your current employees longer, it may also enable you to recruit more high-level talent by giving you an edge in a competitive market. How, you ask? Your employees who are feeling highly valued and satisfied in their jobs will be more loyal to your company and your brand. This may actually help to increase sales and will also lead to more employee referrals which are one of the best recruiting tools available.