There are many varieties of corporate wellness programs. Essentially, corporate wellness programs encourage people to take measures to prevent the onset or worsening of a disease or illness and to adopt lifestyles that are healthier. Corporations may utilize a wide range of corporate wellness programs, from onsite gyms to simple corporate wellness newsletters. While some corporations have started very expansive corporate wellness programs, others have attained savings or increased productivity with just a few simple initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles. Getting started is what matters the most. Having a plan, along with an idea or two about corporate wellness programs, can serve as a starting point for creating a more expansive program at a future time.
Why Corporate Wellness?
Corporate wellness programs are an investment in your corporation’s most valuable asset, your workers. Studies have shown that workers are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health. Employees are also more likely to be attracted to, remain with, and value a employer that appreciates them. Corporate wellness programs improves company productivity by:
- Attracting superior quality employees;
- Reducing absenteeism and time lost;
- Enhancing on-the-job performance and decision making; and
- Improving worker morale, resulting in lower turnover.
In addition to enhanced productivity, corporate wellness programs have been shown to be effective tools in slowing the growth of health care costs. Selecting healthier alternatives may reduce an employee’s chances of suffering from illness. Less illness means corporations can reduce medical plan utilization, thereby reducing medical benefit costs, and in turn increasing earnings. While medical cost savings from corporate wellness programs may be less evident than productivity gains, research shows that medically high-risk workers are medically high-cost workers as they use more medical care and generate higher claims costs.
Finally, by investing in corporate wellness programs , companies will be helping the United States achieve its two major Healthy People 2010 worksite goals:
- 75 percent of all businesses, regardless of size, offering a wide reaching corporate wellness program; and
- 75 percent of all a company’s staff participating in employer-sponsored corporate wellness activities.
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