Employers are always looking for ways to cut the ever-rising cost of health care, but their latest method benefits employees just as much as it benefits the company. Corporate wellness programs have recently skyrocketed in popularity, due to the fact that they improve employees’ health and job satisfaction, all while cutting costs and increasing productivity for employers. If it sounds like a win-win situation for everyone, it is.
Corporate wellness programs are workplace initiatives designed to promote healthier lifestyles among employees. Programs vary significantly from company to company, but many of them include wellness coaching, discounts on gym memberships, healthier food options in the workplace and even financial incentives for making healthy choices. Several companies offer reduced premiums or contributions to a health savings account (HSA) for employees who complete health assessments or biometric screenings.
According to a 2013 survey by Fidelity and National Business Group on Health, 86 percent of employers now offer wellness incentives to their employees. That’s an increase of almost 30 percent since 2009. And the perks for employees have increased as well. The average benefit per employee in 2009 was $260. Since then, that figure has doubled.
Employers are also seeing a positive return on their investment into these wellness programs. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, investing in corporate prevention and wellness results in:
- 26.5 percent lower health costs
- 25.3 percent fewer sick days
- 40.7 percent reduction in workers’ comp costs
- 24.2 percent lower disability management costs
Corporate wellness programs are not only changing the landscape of health care, but also the workplace. Health programs, workshops and fitness challenges allow employees to share common goals and build camaraderie while taking steps to improve their health and wellbeing.
Good employers know that the best way to care for the company is to care for its employees. If your workplace offers a wellness program, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the resources available to you. Make your health a priority, and you’ll be a great asset to the company for years to come.