Companies are taking employee wellness more seriously now. They are truly trying to figure out the right solution to combat rising health issues and healthcare costs. Unfortunately, too many companies are trying to implement wellness programs with little to no experience or game plan for success. As a result, more programs fail than succeed.
The real problem? Corporate wellness cannot be treated as a band-aid, and you definitely won't be able to find it in a fitness app. Engagement, motivation, support and strategy are the keys to a successful program. If employees are not involved in the solution, it's difficult to succeed. Preventable wellness is a complete lifestyle and behavior change and change takes time and commitment.
I believe an employer has a responsibility to increase awareness of health, since people spend about half their waking hours at work. If more incentive is needed, it has also been shown that about three-quarters of health and medical claims come from a select few categories of illness and that the risk factors for these are all modifiable by exercise and healthy lifestyle.
Taking a proactive approach to health care is still a new idea for some companies. I know that healthy employees make healthier companies, and that unhealthy employees subtract from the bottom line. Stress-related illnesses cost employers untold sums in increased absenteeism, more serious medical claims, and decreased insurance availability. All top-performing companies offer health insurance and benefits packages, but such “safety nets” only provide help once employees have already fallen ill and productivity has been impaired. The way of the present and future is preventive – stopping ill health before it happens and impacts operations.
There’s a reason why corporate fitness and wellness programs are a growing trend. Pretty soon companies won’t be able to afford not to invest in such programs. The sooner your company establishes a health and wellness program, the sooner you will see a return on this investment. You will see research-supported benefits, such as:
Reduced employee absenteeism - Work absences are increasing for health-related reasons and disabilities. There is an inverse relationship between employee fitness and absenteeism. Over a six-year period, DuPont saw a 47.5 percent reduction in absenteeism among participants in its corporate fitness program. (Edington, DW. Health Behavior, March 1992)
Corporate Fitness Case Studies
Companies everywhere are experiencing the benefits of using corporate fitness programs by seeing lower health care costs and improved employee attitudes around the office.