Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wellness Programs Increase Employee Retention Rates, Study Finds

At this point, it’s well known that employee wellness programs lead to healthier, more productive employees, and can offer a return on investment of $2-$6 for every dollar spent promoting health. Now, emerging research supports this data but takes it a step further. In addition to increased employee productivity, fewer individual sick days, and reduced presenteeism, companies that offer wellness benefits also demonstrate increased employee retention rates. In part, this is just another way of saying healthy employees are happy employees.

And the numbers are remarkable. Almost half (45%) of employees at small or mid-sized companies reported that they would stay at their jobs longer because of employer-sponsored wellness programs, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index. The rising cost of health care along with job instability and high unemployment rates has solidified workers' opinions of the value of their benefit plan.

The study found that about 47% of workers would participate (or already do participate) in wellness programs to achieve better health overall. Additionally, most workers showed an interest in programs that improve physical health such as in-office fitness facilities, gym discounts, or weight management programs.

It’s easy for employees to shrug off an on-site wellness program and claim that they don’t have the time to participate, or "getting healthy" is not something they like to think about, but from a financial standpoint, both the employer and the employee benefit from a burgeoning culture of health in the workplace. The top reasons for participation in wellness programs were listed as: reduced personal health care costs (30%), increased longevity and health maintenance (30%), employer incentives (28%), and reduced stress (28%).

Is a comprehensive wellness program a worthy reason to stay with a company? How important is a wellness program to you?

3 comments:

Ryan said...

i love the idea of an in-office gym. but i can't help but think the more i used it, the more my boss would think i was slacking

Neil Butterfield said...

While I applaud companies for getting involved in the well being of their employees, my feeling is that each person should take responsibility for their own health. Furthermore, they should especially keep them selves fit and healthy so that they are able to work effectively.

Matt said...

Wellness isn't just about saving money on health insurance, it is about feeling good. I feel so much better when I work out all the time and eat well, get good sleep, avoid alcohol and so on. Employees like to be in a place where people are healthy and happy.