Wellness at Work: Prevention and Support is Key
Company wellness programs are a growing trend among organizations and are no longer limited to forward-thinking companies like Google. In fact, more than two-thirds of employers in the United States offer them as part of their benefits packages and a recent survey found that 81% of large employers with 200 or more workers and 49% of small employers offer wellness programs aimed at helping employees lose weight, stop smoking, and make other lifestyle and health changes.
Add to this that one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese , that America’s workforce is aging and working longer, that chronic diseases and conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, are caused in large part by lifestyle choices and that healthcare costs continue to skyrocket and the need to have a healthier workforce becomes quite clear.
Wellness Programs are currently more prevalent in corporate atmospheres among those with white collar jobs. However, it’s predicted that they will begin to be implemented in more physically-demanding blue collar industries in the near future, like the industrial, construction, transportation, and manufacturing fields. And the need in these industries is acute, as blue-collar workers have been found to have more health concerns, like obesity and smoking, than other groups.
So what’s all the buzz about and why should you care?
Workplace Wellness Programs:
- Increase employee engagement, productivity and job satisfaction
- Reduce employees’ out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Lower employee stress levels and boost their overall well-being and energy
- Decrease healthcare costs, worker’s compensation claims, employee injuries, and absenteeism
- Attract and help retain the best talent
- Enhance your company’s image
One thing to keep in mind is that wellness programs are growing and expanding beyond physical wellness and are looking more holistically at employee well-being. Companies are beginning to takemore integrated approaches with initiatives like flexible work arrangements, financial and retirement planning, mental health support, child and elder care assistance and more.
Wellness programs have a high ROI for both workers and employers and are worth the time and effort invested in them. Thinking about implementing one in your workplace? There are many resources and tools to determine what would work best for your employees.
Do you have a successful wellness program at your company? We’d love to hear more!