Wellness Programs Lead to Savings

Instituting a wellness program reduces healthcare costs while increasing employee output.

As busy as most dealers are, starting up a company wellness program may not seem like a priority. However, it should strongly be considered. Instituting a simple wellness program can save money with lower healthcare costs and make employees happier and healthier.

Wellness program benefits

Your investment in the health and wellness of your employees could not only improve healthcare costs, but also customer service. Healthier employees have proven to have a higher output. Individuals who benefit from an employer's investment in them and their health have also shown more loyalty. This saves company additional dollars thanks to reduced turnover costs.

More and more companies are instituting wellness programs as they learn of their seemingly endless benefits. According to a recent study by insurer Highmark Inc., healthcare costs rose at a 15% slower rate among employers who consistently offered a wellness program to employees.

There are many statistics available that suggest a wellness program can help your company greatly. A study cited by wellnessproposals.com showed that implementing a wellness program lowered sick leave by 28%, lowered the use of healthcare benefits by 26%, and lowered employee’s compensation claims by 30%.

Program Implementation

While you can't force employees to change their behaviors and become healthier individuals overnight, you can influence and encourage them with programs and incentives. A workplace wellness program doesn’t require an all or nothing approach. You can start with something as simple as switching vending machines out for a fruit basket and then move forward with additional aspects to the program as your resources allow.

There are four main areas that should receive the most focus: tobacco use, diet, and exercise and stress management. Do not limit yourself to these areas, but be sure you touch on each of them in some way.

Some examples of wellness programs include: on-site health screenings, flu shots, on-site exercise equipment, exercise classes, gym membership discounts, healthier food options in the vending machines, paying for smoking-cessation programs and anything else you can think up to help employees live healthy lives.

You can also get creative with your wellness programs and start friendly competitions. Employees, who track steps with a pedometer or miles walked, can compare their stats. Small awards to the highest numbers can encourage them further. In addition to getting more exercise, camaraderie could also see an improvement.

Your insurance company may offer some guidance on how to implement a wellness program safely and effectively. The internet also offers many resources to employers. However you approach it, you want to motivate employees to make a positive change in their habits and your business will see multiple benefits.