Healthy Employees Cost You Less: Why Wellness in the Workplace is Essential

Healthy Employees Cost You Less: Why Wellness in the Workplace is Essential

It often appears that workplace wellness is a luxury or something you can leave to your employees. After all, you are providing them with health insurance, right? 

The truth is that healthy employees cost you less, or you can turn it around and say that there are real costs to unhealthy employees. Investing in the health of your workforce can improve your productivity and your revenue substantially. Here are some excellent reasons why wellness in the workplace is not a luxury but an essential investment all companies should be making.

Fewer Sick Days

This is perhaps the most obvious reason: Healthy employees take fewer sick days. Some absenteeism is avoidable (and you should be actively encouraging employees to stay home if they may have a contagious disease). Unscheduled absenteeism costs about $3,600 per year for an hourly worker and $2,650 for a salaried employee. These costs include the wages you pay when they are not working, overtime pay for replacement or temporary workers, administrative time spent, reduced productivity, and potential safety issues.

Much absenteeism is preventable. For example, getting your employees their annual flu shot can significantly reduce absenteeism during flu season. One study showed that employees who regularly maintain a good diet and exercise are 27% less likely to take sick time.

And, of course, if people are sick less often, illness will not spread through the workplace, resulting in significant productivity loss.

Less Presenteeism

Another issue is employees not calling out when they need to. This can be a result of not offering enough flexibility for sick time. Employees who come in when sick, even if they are not contagious, are there but not fully functional. This is called presenteeism, which can also be a result of burnout and mental health issues. The person is present but might as well be absent...or worse, are dragging down the entire team.

This can cut individual productivity by over a third. Often these employees have non-infectious sickness, injuries, or other conditions that don't prevent them from coming to work. Wellness programs can reduce the prevalence of these conditions and educate people on when they should just stay home.

Fewer Work Injuries

On-the-job injuries cost employers a total of $171 billion in 2019. Even with a good safety program in place, employees who are not entirely healthy are more likely to have (or cause somebody else to have) an accident. Healthy employees have better agility, flexibility, and alertness, allowing them to move faster in an emergency and avoid injury. They are simply more capable of a high-intensity, physical job.

Employees who are getting enough sleep are less likely to experience fatigue or drowsiness when on the job. This can also reduce the chance of accidents at the worksite or when driving to and from work.

This results in less time lost from injury and helps keep your workers' comp premiums down. Accidents can also harm worker morale.

Reduced Healthcare Costs

Healthy employees who also get all of their preventive care have lower sickness rates. Staying healthy can prevent or delay the onset of chronic illness and significantly reduce short-term sickness.

People are less likely to need expensive emergency room visits, hospital stays, or surgery. This can positively affect your health insurance premiums, reducing costs for both you and your employees. Employees are less likely to have medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, resulting in high bills.

Improved Employee Retention

The cost of replacing an employee ranges from half to twice their salary, and not all costs can be measured. A departing employee can take with them valuable institutional knowledge.

High turnover affects the morale of the remaining employees. Healthy employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and are likely to perform well, which leads to a greater sense of accomplishment. Combined with adequately recognizing high performers, this can help ensure that your employees stick around.

Also, healthy employees are less likely to develop a chronic condition that may affect their ability to remain in their job or even force them to take early retirement.

Finally, many employees find a wellness program to be an essential perk, which can help you attract a better quality employee in the first place.

How Does PRO Resources Help?

PRO Resources offers comprehensive Wellness, Safety, and Employee Assistance Programs. These programs are custom-designed to help build a culture of wellness. This, in turn, shows that you care about your employees' well-being, leading to less turnover and lower recruiting expenses. They can also help you develop a healthy, productive workforce that takes fewer sick days and has fewer accidents. 

To find out more, check out our website or contact PRO Resources today to ask how we can help your business.

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