Contributed by Abby Drexler
Without the distractions of illness, fatigue, and low mood, employees can do their best work. This, however, is not reality for many American employees who struggle with sleep and mood problems, get sick often, and are generally sluggish. While people do need to take responsibility for their own health, employee wellness programs can offer employees a nudge in the right direction.
A wellness program should give employees the education that they might otherwise be missing about what is and what isn’t healthy, how different foods and sleep habits affect their health, as well as a space to exercise at work. Health can be a pretty nebulous concept for a lot of people, and a tough thing to commit to. Wellness programs at work can help fill those gaps so that employees have the knowledge and community they need to succeed at being healthy. Armed with the right tools, they’ll be more productive, less expensive employees too, which makes the program worth it to employers. Here are some of the many benefits employers will see after starting a wellness program.
1. Increased Productivity
When employees are healthy, they’re more alert and focused, they have more confidence and more creativity, and they take less time off work. This all leads to higher productivity. Even when employees aren’t noticeably sick, low health reduces productivity considerably. Wellness programs can show employees how certain foods specifically reduce or promote productivity and how sports can make you more productive at work. Obviously, it’s an employee’s own decision what they do with that information. One hundred percent of employees probably won’t go full circle with their health, but some of them will, and some of them will make small improvements. All this combined will improve the overall company’s productivity.
2. Lower Healthcare Costs
If your company provides insurance, you’ll be interested to know that wellness programs can help lower those costs. Wellness programs can reduce the amount spent on employee health care. Employers can negotiate lower rates with a wellness program in place. There are other creative money saving options for larger companies such as offering an on-site clinic. On-site clinics can help reduce overall costs associated with employees taking time off work. They also help employees get to the doctor before problems progress. Sometimes just getting to the doctor is a challenge for employees. Having a clinic at work encourages employees to manage their health concerns before they become real problems.
3. Improved Employee Morale
An employee wellness program is a great way to show employees you care. Not only will employees feel appreciated but the changes they start making will help them be more positive overall.
4. Tax Benefits
There are some very tangible financial benefits to implementing a wellness program. One of the biggest is the tax incentives. Depending on what state you live in, you could receive a financial boost from your wellness program. There are tax benefits in Mississippi, Indiana, and Massachusetts for example.
5. Easier Hiring
Employees are drawn to positions that fit their skill set and to companies that care about their employees. Once your wellness program is in full swing, advertise it to potential new hires. Current employees can give meaningful testimonials about their positive experience. You can then share those testimonials with applicants. Many job seekers are very impressed by employers who are committed to the health of their employees.
Your employee wellness program is a tremendous opportunity for you and your employees. With these programs, you can show that you care about their well-being and, in return, they will do better work.
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Training Amigo. She regularly produces content for a variety of wellness and management blogs.