The Advantages of Corporate Wellness Programs are quite numerous. First let see how are you managing the health care costs at your company?
If these costs seem overwhelming to you these days, you’re not alone. In the past ten years employer health coverage premiums increased by 119 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and other studies show that health care costs now absorb, on average, 50 percent of profits compared to 7 percent in 1980. Productivity losses related to personal and family health problems equal $1,685 per employee per year.
What Can You do to Minimize Health Care Expenses?
Save money. A 2003 meta-review by LS Chapman of 42 published studies on the advantages of worksite health promotion programs found:
1) An average 28 % reduction in sick leave absenteeism;
2) An average 26 % reduction in health costs;
3) An average 30 % reduction in workers' compensation and disability management claims costs; and
4) An average $5.93-to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio.
Improve productivity. Everybody has experienced afternoon fatigue. Yet, a NASA study proved exercisers work at full efficiency all day while non-exercising office workers’ productivity decreases 50 % during the final two hours; this results in a corporate wellness program advantage of a 12.5 % difference in productivity between the two groups.
Healthier workers make fewer errors and don’t suffer as much from presenteeism, or coming to work although either sick or pre-occupied with non-work related issues. According to a Cigna Behavioral Health study, presenteeism costs an estimated $2,000 a year per employee.
Attract better talent. “Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee’s total health. An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict,” said Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. A wellness program is typically defined as one designed to maintain or improve employee health before problems arise.
Link to a Proof Made Wellness Program:
Once the decision is made to begin a workplace wellness program, the Human Resources department has to start figuring out the scope, direction, and implementation of the program. The websites for the Centre for Disease Control and Partnership for Prevention provide good overviews of potential steps, tools, and what and who needs to be in place. The health needs of the employees and the budget will play a big role in determining where to invest time and money.
Some companies start with a number of corporate wellness programs and activities such as stress management workshops, subsidies for local gyms or Weight Watcher meetings, or other already identified needs by employees.
Studies also show that readily available self-help materials are effective. Seventy-five percent of people who receive a self-care guide will use it at least one time within six months. Self-care programs may include workshops, nurse advice lines, software, and educational material. There is a surprising amount of free or low cost information and self-help material available online or via national and local health promotion associations.
Centre for Disease Control’s Healthier Website Initiative website is an excellent portal which provides a lot of free tool kits, program planning information, and resources. Go to:Here are Some How-to Resources:
Partnership for Prevention, national non-profit health advocacy organization with public and private partner/members, has produced a helpful, free 72-page downloadable monograph: Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond: An Essential Health Promotion Sourcebook for both Large and Small Employers provides an overview and nuts and bolts information. The extensive resource list is a goldmine. Download now:Free 72-page Healthy Workforce 2010 - Prevention