As we look into the future of healthcare, wellness programs in the workplace are more popular than ever. When implemented correctly, wellness programs give employees the tools, support, and confidentiality to maintain healthy behaviors. The impact of these programs on employees includes improved wellbeing, increased productivity, and prevention of chronic diseases.
The notion of wellness in the workplace is not a new idea. Many will likely be familiar with organizational wellness policies like on-site kitchens, flex-time for exercise, and healthy vending machine options. In recent years, wellness in the workplace has grown as businesses have noticed the benefits of a healthy workforce.
Here’s an evidence-backed list to showcase why focusing on wellness can benefit both employees and employers.
- Health Conscious Programs at Work Increase Healthy Behavior
- Wellness Programs Improve Employee Engagement
- Employees Want More Wellness Options
- Focusing on Wellness in the Workplace Boosts Productivity
- Wellness Programs Have a Return on Investment
Wellness programs can have a positive effect on employee health and their overall lives. From a public health perspective, it’s hard to change or alter habits to make healthier choices. Having programs dedicated to modifying unhealthy behaviors that address certain health risks can help make long-term positive changes in behavior.
In a Workplace Wellness Program Study Report from The RAND Corporation, researchers discovered:
“Consistent with prior research, we find that lifestyle management interventions as part of workplace wellness programs can reduce risk factors, such as smoking, and increase healthy behaviors, such as exercise. We find that these effects are sustainable over time and clinically meaningful.
This result is of critical importance, as it confirms that workplace wellness programs can help contain the current epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases, the main driver of premature morbidity and mortality as well as health care cost in the United States.”
While more research is still being conducted to understand the effects of wellness centered initiatives in the workplace, companies should continue to actively seek and improve upon ways to help their employees make healthier choices now to reap the health benefits later.
Having meaningful work and feeling a strong sense of companionship with fellow employees are often considered key motivators of employee engagement. While these are still big motivators in employee engagement and retention, new research suggests that access to wellness programs has a positive impact on employee job satisfaction, work relationships, and loyalty.
In a report created by the Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by Humana, researchers found that:
“Wellness programmes align employer and employee goals more closely. They increase employee engagement with the company’s mission and goals. Employees are also more likely to see their own wellness as being linked with professional success. Companies that build a wellness culture thus acquire a workforce that is not only more focused and engaged, but that sees that culture as benefiting their careers.”
Trends in health and wellness have altered people’s expectations of how companies should address employee health. Experts from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health determined that about 59.4% of employees believe companies should make an effort to improve the health of their workers.
It’s clear that popular opinion supports the initiative of health-centered programs at work, and is something job seekers want. By having a wellness program, businesses can use health-focused incentives as a recruitment tool. Showing potential employees that the company also cares about their wellbeing will definitely give health-conscious employers an edge over companies offering only bare-bones benefits.
Worried that your workforce is showing up but isn’t there mentally? According to a study presented by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, when employees use wellness programs they end up saving their employers about $353 in boosted productivity. In addition, companies tend to average $5.06 in reduced absenteeism for each dollar invested in a wellness program.
About 45% of the population in the US has at least one chronic disease, like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma. Chronic diseases like these are responsible for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the US. When employees change their behavior, it can result in lower healthcare costs for them and their employer.
A study conducted by the University of Louisville reported that every dollar invested in wellness-related programs generated about $7 in healthcare savings. Isn’t it amazing how focusing on health can mean big savings? The study also found that changing behaviors decreased the average number of health risks among employees from 5 or more to just 3 risks or less.
How to Provide Employees with Wellness Programs While Reducing Healthcare Costs
By using bundled payment options, self-funded employers can offer more wellness-related programs to their workforce while reducing costs. The idea of bundled payment is straight forward—healthcare providers are paid a fixed price for a collection of healthcare services. By bundling payment programs, employers can accommodate different employee needs, provider readiness, and market conditions.
If the idea of saving on healthcare while providing high-quality healthcare services sounds like a win-win, we can help! At mymedchoices, we offer self-funded employers a higher-quality of care and more choices by working with Centers of Excellence. We can help employees receive the highest level of care from respected physicians, hospital leaders, and nurses all while companies save on healthcare costs.
Find out how focusing on health and wellness programs and using bundled payment options can help you improve the health of your employees while cutting expenses. Contact us and start saving.