How Wellness Programs Can Boost Employee Health & Happiness
Business owners who launch health programs for their employees can enjoy a wide range of valuable benefits, not simply their employees but for the entire company. Outside of a healthier and happier team, such programs can increase productivity, save money, and even enhance your brand’s image among current and prospective employees. If you’re looking for a relatively simplistic strategy for motivation, workplace wellness programs should be a top priority. The following are just a few of the most powerful benefits participating companies experience.
Improved Employee Productivity
The most valuable benefit of employee health and wellness programs is productivity. The healthier your employees are, the more productive they will be at their jobs. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who participate in health programs each gained an average of 10 hours in additional productivity annually. This boost saved the companies $335 in productivity costs per person per year compared to the non-participants.
Yes, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that productivity losses related to family and personal health issues add up to $1,685 per employee per year or $225.8 billion annually. Yea… that’s a lot of money. Wellness programs that help employees develop healthier lifestyles will ultimately improve their productivity and your bottom line.
Decreased Stress and Improved Morale
A good health and wellness program will not only improve employee’s physical health but also their mental health. This can be incredibly valuable for small business owners because their employees often feel stressed out due to the increased workload. Happier and healthier employees are naturally going to have improved work performance, and that’s another reason to institute simple things to improve their health outcomes. By providing healthy snacks and drinks in the workplace, you can encourage your employees to take short breaks and eat food that will boost their energy levels. Or, you may find that offering flexible work schedules and/or work-from-home opportunities will help them to feel better.
Fewer Sick Days
Again, it’s a no-brainer that healthier employees are going to take less sick days. So, it’s a good idea to do what you can to ensure that your employees are healthy. The simplest way to get employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle is to give them increased opportunities to eat better and exercise more regularly. Most people want to eat healthier and exercise, but many feel as though they lack the necessary time. Stocking your workplace with healthy options makes it one step easier, but you can also give your employees more time for lunch so they don’t have to worry about getting fast food. Another option is to offer a catered lunch.
In terms of exercise, you can start weekly workplace-sponsored yoga, aerobic, and/or dance classes. Or, offer those who use the gym at lunch or right after work an extended break or earlier time off, this way they are more inclined to exercise. This might even cause your more sedentary employees to start a fitness regimen out of jealousy!
Want to get better employees? Offer better benefits than your competitors do. Employees who feel as though they’re treated better by one employer versus another will nearly always go with the employer who takes care of them.
Health and wellness programs are a popular way to attract top talent. All of the standout tech and software companies know the draw of an impressive health and wellness program, as they are fighting to hire top employees. Microsoft, for example, offers a free wellness program, free gym membership, onsite health clinic, and no health insurance premium.
These extra benefits not only help keep Microsoft’s team healthy, happier, and more productive, but they also encourage them to stay with the company, while attracting new talent. With such an array of incredible benefits, why wouldn’t you launch a health and wellness program?
As your Access Business Lawyer, we can advise you on the most effective ways to improve your employees’ health and wellness. We can also help you navigate any legal, insurance, financial, or tax issues that may come up as a result of the new wellness initiatives. Contact us today to learn more.