When HR executives begin hearing about “workplace wellness,” the first thought that comes to mind might be: Why do we need that? That’s a fair question. After all, many companies are focused on sales numbers, improve KPIs, and boosting their bottom line—and rightly so. Wellness programs may seem like an unnecessary “perk” at best, or a time-consuming constraint on HR departments at worst.
What many people may not realize is that wellness programs are actually a solid, proven way to improve those KPIs, boost sales, and benefit a company’s bottom line. When you offer ways to help employees get healthier and reduce health risks through wellness programs, a number of positive results will follow for your company. Here are a few.
1. Wellness programs reduce healthcare costs.
Researchers have found that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the company saves $3.27. One large study by the Rand Corporation found that disease management generated an average of $136 in savings per member, per month, and a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions.
2. Wellness programs lead to more positive employees.
The same Rand analysis estimated an overall ROI of $1.50 for the boost in employees’ happiness, which they called the Employee Positivity Factor. When employees feel better, both physically and mentally, they work better together, and get the results everyone wants.
3. Wellness programs save money by reducing absenteeism costs.
Absenteeism is a major issue companies confront that can be reduced through wellness programs. Whether the problem is with employees staying home from work, or coming into work but not being able to focus, this can lead to bad news for companies’ bottom lines. But when you offer accessible, effective, and fun programs at work, you reduce those rates of absenteeism. One study found that workplace wellness programs found that absenteeism costs fall by $2.73 for every dollar spent.
4. Wellness programs attract and retain high-quality employees.
Whether a company is successful doesn’t just depend on the CEO, or a single product. Success in the long-run stems from the people hired who make up the entire organization. And wellness programs have been proven to assist in recruiting and keeping employees around.
Today people look for prospective employers who currently offer a wellness program. In a United Healthcare survey, 75 percent of people say they are interested in employee wellness program. And this desire won’t go away anytime soon, with 95 percent of millennials reporting they care deeply about their health. Studies also show that companies with wellness programs have 9 percent attrition rates, compared to 15 percent at companies without one.
5. Wellness programs are key to companies’ financial success.
One analysis of earning results among companies with wellness programs showed that publicly traded companies with excellent wellness programs outperformed the S&P 500 by a large margin. In other words, annualized return of these hypothetical portfolios is greater than 99 percent of all actively managed mutual funds—a pretty spectacular ROI if you ask us.