Employee Wellness Programs: Why Small Business Benefits
As a small business owner, the impact of implementing or strengthening an employee wellness program can produce benefits far wider than most realize at first. It is not necessary to spend enormous amounts of money on large, incentive-based types of wellness programs. Implementing no or low-costs wellness benefits will go way beyond a direct monetary return on investment. Some benefits include:
Reduced direct and indirect related costs due to poor health
In a study done on the ROI of employee wellness programs, Harvard researchers conclude that, on average, for every dollar spent on employee wellness, medical costs fall $3.27 and absenteeism drops $2.73. This is a 6-to-1 return on investment (1). A study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that wellness programs resulted in an ROI of 10.3 work hours per employee per year. With higher productivity rates, employees were able to complete more work in less time. And with better health, employees took fewer sick days, resulting in an average savings of $350 per employee.
Reduced job-related injury costs & claims
By improving the overall health of your employees, both on the job and away can help lower worker's compensation premiums. The number of workers compensation claims you file is not just an indicator of how safe your work environment is, it's a direct reflection of the overall wellbeing of your entire workforce.
Improves employee morale and productivity
The cost savings can be measured against absenteeism among employees, reduced overtime to cover absent employees, and costs to train replacement employees. Similarly, wellness programs can reduce presenteeism which is the extent to which health symptoms, conditions, and diseases adversely affect the work productivity of individuals who choose to remain at work.
Improved employee recruitment and retention
Wellness programs that are varied and innovative may be a successful marketing tool when recruiting new employees. When created with the needs, risks, and interests of employees in mind, programs can improve the retention of current workers and create long-term employee loyalty to the organization.
There is no better time to start your wellness committee than now!
(1) Baicker, Katherine, David Cutler,ZiruiSong. Health Affairs. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings. Accessed February 8, 2019. https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0626.
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