DON’T OVERLOOK THE VALUE IN PROMOTING WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE

In recent years, employers across the United States have been paying more and more attention to promoting the wellness of their employees. One way that many employers are focusing on the wellness of their employees is by offering a workplace wellness program. The mutual benefits that a workplace wellness program offers to employees and employers alike is just one of the many reasons that these programs are becoming so popular. As any employer knows all too well, healthy workers take fewer sick days. Healthier employees are also more happy, better able to focus on their job duties, and more productive on the job. As the cost of health care continues to rise, employers are desperately searching for ways to get a handle on the cost of employee health benefits. Of course, a healthy employee doesn’t make as many doctor visits and is certainly less apt to need costly medical procedures, treatments, medications, and/or surgeries.

Employers are also constantly seeking innovative ways to attract and retain valuable employees. The benefits that wellness programs offer can help boost employee morale and keep retention rates high. Plus, giving employees more opportunity to socialize in settings outside the office, such as through a weight management program or an exercise class, often makes them more likely to work well together during their working hours. Offering a wellness program can also help an employer compete for new hires by offering an attractive perk. In fact, some potential employees have actually come to expect wellness programs to be part of their prospective employer’s benefit offerings.

The American Journal of Health Promotion recently conducted a study on wellness programs. It showed that the companies involved in the study saw their company’s wellness programs decrease utilization of health care benefits by 26%, sick leave by 28% or more, and workers’ compensation claim numbers by 30% over the last year. This is just one of the many studies showing that companies offering wellness programs and proactively encouraging their employees to make healthier lifestyle choices are seeing results when it comes to areas like reducing the risk of work-related injuries and controlling employee benefits cost.

Employers have an array of options when it comes to setting up an employer-sponsored wellness program. Some companies are choosing to hire coaches and consulting groups to come in and design and/or run their wellness program. Other companies are opting to create and manage the wellness program on their own. The program’s features are also versatile and can include any of the following features:

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Further Reading
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