“Pump It Up!” – Why Encouraging Wellness Pays
Good employees make for a good company. Employee wellness trends have become even more important through the COVID-19 pandemic and moving into a labor market that gives candidates more power.
The statistics highlight this. 59% of employees don't get enough exercise, and over half have high cholesterol. This contributes to rising healthcare costs for employees and employers alike. The pandemic has caused particular attention to mental health, with about four in ten adults in the U.S. reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from one in ten in the first part of 2019. Chances are, your employees are stressed and burned out. Some are experiencing reentry anxiety and find it hard to readjust to a world with fewer COVID-19 protocols.
All of this means employers need to begin developing employee wellness programs. So, why are employee wellness programs beneficial?
Wellness is an Investment in Your Biggest Asset: Your Employees
Without your employees, you don't have a business. Almost all companies have at least one or two key employees that they would be genuinely struggling without if they were to leave.
Because of this, employee engagement, health, and wellness are necessary investments. Wellness programs truly affect your bottom line. For example, the company saves $5.82 in reduced absenteeism costs for every dollar spent on wellness programs. This is in addition to improved engagement and company culture, reduced turnover, and lower healthcare costs.
Employee wellbeing initiatives also result in higher motivation. Each program should be customized to the needs of the company and the employees, taking into account demographics, your location, health issues your employees have, etc. For example, if any of your employees smoke, offering smoking cessation programs and education can have a significant ROI.
Wellness Programs Help Attract Better Employees
Wellness programs are vital for recruiting in today's hiring environment. 74% of businesses consider well-being critical in recruiting and maintaining employees, and 89% of employees are likely to recommend their company as an excellent workplace. Employee referrals tend to bring in candidates that are already a perfect cultural fit.
Employees also have expectations and, in the current labor market, have more choices and are more likely to be able to demand those expectations be met. They want good work-life balance and wellness programs, especially ones that go beyond healthier snacks in the vending machines or step contests.
There are two main approaches when it comes to wellness programs, and it’s up to each business to decide what works best for their employees.
The first approach is an outcome-based wellness program that uses incentives to encourage participation. This program requires employees to achieve their custom health goals, ultimately receiving a reward.
Then, there are holistic wellness programs that assist with overall well-being and improve the quality of life for employees. This approach focuses on total health, including nutrition, mental health, fitness, and stress management.
Employee Turnover and Absenteeism Are Reduced
Absenteeism is often due to preventable illness. A good wellness program can significantly cut absenteeism (and don't forget that employees who take time off for preventive care are less likely to need more time off later). Employees who feel supported in wellness efforts are less likely to leave their job in the next year (25 percent versus 51 percent).
Healthy employees are also less likely to become chronically ill or disabled and have to leave their jobs or take early retirement. They have more energy and are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Good wellness programs help preserve work-life balance, which improves the health of workers and their families and significantly reduces burnout.
Overall, employee wellness initiatives result in employees taking fewer sick days, which improves overall productivity.
Wellness Programs Improve Your Bottom Line
Finally, wellness programs do improve your bottom line. Specifically, having a good wellness program assists with the following:
- Increases financial stability and growth
- Improves financial performance (companies with good wellness programs are 40% more likely to report better financial performance than others)
- Positively impacts the company culture
- Reduces healthcare costs
- Improves customer loyalty because healthy employees treat customers better (Employee engagement as part of a health and wellness program can particularly help here)
- Improves revenue per employee
This is in addition to intangibles such as improved morale and reduced stress, although the latter can also result in fewer sick days being taken. Stress symptoms such as headaches and fatigue are major causes of absenteeism. 2022 wellness trends show continued high levels of stress and anxiety and that employees are still dealing with pandemic-related issues and anxiety related to returning to the office.
Ask About PRO Wellness
It can be a challenge for companies to develop good employee wellness programs. This is where PRO Resources can help. We provide a worksite wellness program that supports the health and happiness of your team through such things as individualized or group coaching, flu shot clinics, and healthier lifestyle education.
Your wellness program will be designed to fit your needs and your employees. It avoids the kind of outcome-based programs that have poor results in favor of initiatives designed to encourage long-term health. Contact us to find out more and talk to our wellness specialists today.