It’s always difficult to invest in employee programs that are geared towards saving money in the long-run. Especially today, many employers fail to rationalize spending money in order to save money. Many employee programs are costly and are not able to show an immediate return on investment to the decision-makers. An increasingly popular employee program is the wellness benefits program. When an employer looks at these programs, there are some major benefits that can be achieved if used properly. Absenteeism can decrease, productivity increases while reducing health insurance costs, and, above all, employee health rises.
So, do these programs work? Are employees actually buying into them? What if I spend all this money and the employees don’t even use the program?
Well, a study was done recently by an insurance agency of over 2,200 employers and the results may be a little surprising:
-Nearly 70% of the surveyed population have either already moved toward a focus on improving employee health by way of a wellness program or are considering implementing a wellness program.
-For those employers who have already implemented a wellness program, 72% report that they have been successful in improving the overall health of employees.
-Employers cite reduction in absenteeism and a decrease in health care costs as the top reasons for implementing a wellness program.
-55% of respondents expect a reduction in overall health care costs due to their wellness program.
If these results are consistent, why wouldn’t an employer implement an employee wellness program immediately? There is always the worry of cash, but many programs will provide bulk discounts for company-wide programs. The benefits far outweigh the detriments in a program like this. Above all, implementing such programs shows employees that you are willing to spend money on them and that you do care about their well-being as well as the well-being of the company in the long-term sense; they see this as a free employee benefit provided by their employer because the employer cares. Other benefits are that these programs give employees an opportunity to bond with each other over a common issue and that they are proactively trying to become healthier with just a little nudge in the right direction.
Lastly, per the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, National Employee Benefits Day is April 4th, 2011!