4 Proven Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs

Nov 12, 2020

Business Insurance

4 Proven Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs

According to a 2017 survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50% of workplaces in the U.S. have some kind of wellness program. In general, these programs focus on different wellness aspects, including, among others, stress management, physical fitness, nutrition, and smoking cessation. As per the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), these programs are particularly important because they can help boost employee productivity by improving health, reducing absenteeism, enhancing motivation, and reducing employee costs. There are usually several programs available within the medical plans that are offered. These can be promoted to employees on a frequent basis to remind them of the programs that are available to them.

Keeping this in mind, here are 4 proven benefits of employee wellness programs.

1. Enhanced Employee Productivity

In essence, low productivity in the workplace comes about when an employee fails to meet his/her productivity goals due to sickness or unnecessary breaks. For example, employees who smoke at the workplace lose at least five weeks every year to short smoking breaks, according to recent research. To counter such problems related to productivity(also known as presenteeism), a company-wide wellness program can be implemented to educate employees on the health risks associated with smoking tobacco and help them break nicotine addiction. Similarly, frequent exercising should be encouraged among the employees as physical activities add an average of five days of productivity per employee annually, as reported by the RAND Corporation.

2. Lower Costs of Healthcare

According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. economy about $249 billion in 2010, in terms of lost work productivity and added healthcare costs, among several other adverse consequences. More specifically, 11% of the expenses were incurred on alcohol-related healthcare costs, including, among others, treatment of liver cancer and cirrhosis, emergency care, and hospitalization.

An employee who drinks excessively tends to have more sick days because of a weakened immune system, which slows down the healing process whenever he/she falls ill. Hence, an employee wellness program can come in handy to help workers overcome their addiction, and improve their immunity, thereby lowering healthcare costs.

3. Greater Employee Motivation

Employees who participate in employee wellness programs tend to live a healthy lifestyle and develop inner motivation, which proves to be crucial in ensuring workplace productivity. Employees returning from a workout session feel refreshed, are more creative, and more focused on their work, which improves their overall efficiency, as reported by the Center for Innovative Public Health Research (CiPHR). Furthermore, the World Health Organization(WHO) suggests that healthy nutrition can increase an employee's productivity by 20%. Hence, wellness programs can help create a workplace where each employee is happy, motivated, and focused.

4. Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Every year, an average employee loses 7.65% of work time due to absenteeism and presenteeism caused by sickness, as published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM). With non-communicable diseases being the leading cause of death in the U.S., they also decrease the labor force, lower productivity, and stagnate the economy's growth, as reported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The good news is that you can prevent such diseases and other occupational conditions, such as musculoskeletal disorders resulting from poor working posture, through a proper employee wellness program. In general, a reduced rate of chronic diseases helps lower absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.

These are just a few of the benefits of employee wellness programs. In addition to implementing such programs, you should also carry employee compensation coverage to ensure all-around protection of your employees. For additional questions about employee benefits and asset protection, contact the experts at Knight Insurance Services today. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.