You’ve done it. You’ve gotten a meeting with the leadership team to talk about investing in a workplace wellness program. But now you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to sway the big leagues to give you a budget, and space, for your own wellness program. They are going to want numbers. They are going to want to know how it will improve the bottom line. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

First, let’s go back to yoga. Take a deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathe into the belly. Push the breath out. Feel better? Good. Let’s make your case for implementing a workplace wellness program.

1. Reduced absenteeism 

This is a good place to start. Thank the team for being there and point out how productive you can be as a team—just like it’s important for employees to be available for work. The data about the improvement of workplace productivity correlated to workplace wellness is widely available. According to this article, the benefits include:

  • Reducing risk of injury and chronic conditions (think diabetes and heart disease) and related sick days
  • Increased productivity through nutrition awareness and stress reduction

When employees are healthy and their minds and bodies are resilient, they are able to be present in the office, not just physically, but mentally. This presence allows team members to collaborate with clear heads and even tempers.

2. Lower medical claims

Having well-adjusted employees is great, but let’s be honest, it’s numbers that are going to get the C-suite’s attention. According to the Harvard Business Review, once a company implements a workplace wellness program, the cost of medical claims were reduced by $1,421 per participant over the previous year. Plus, of the employees considered high-risk (according to body fat, blood pressure, anxiety, and other measures) at the start of the six-month test, 57% had converted to low-risk. That equals a $6 ROI on every dollar invested in wellness. 

Another good stat: Since Johnson & Johnson began a wellness program, leaders estimated the company has saved $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.

3. Improved productivity 

Reporting the results of MD Anderson Cancer Center’s wellness program, HBR has some more solid numbers for you that will bring you back to productivity costs. In 6 years, MD Anderson saw these benefits:

  • 80% reduction of days lost to illness and injury
  • 64% decline in modified-duty days
  • $1.5 million in savings of lost and reduced duty days
  • 50% reduction in worker’s compensation insurance premiums

Those numbers will raise some eyebrows and get everyone in your meeting adjusting in their seats. They’re not bored. They’re trying to figure out how they can leave ASAP to start adjusting budget items to make your wellness program a reality.

4. Lower turnover rates 

Be sure to talk about another important consideration and savings–employee satisfaction. The HBR article says companies with effective wellness programs have a 9% turnover rate, significantly lower than the 15% of companies without a wellness program. Estimates are that employee turnover costs six to nine months’ salary per employee. Do the math for your organization and share the numbers. An ounce of wellness is worth a pound of onboarding.

Now that we’ve given the c-suite something to think about, we’ll give you one more nugget to inspire your efforts. At exit interviews, Nelnet, a name you probably recognize if you have a student loan, asks what the leaving employee will miss the most. Consistently the number one answer is the wellness program. Isn’t that what you want most–a happy, healthy, satisfied workforce that you are providing with a desirable workplace? Awesome!

Get in there and make your case. Give us a call when you find out what your budget will be.


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