Companies Find Real Value in Wellness Programs

Focus on value rather than return yields results

What’s the value of an employee wellness program? According to study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP), business and industry leaders are increasingly considering the value on investment rather than the return on investment. They want employees to value the programs and are expanding their offerings to include financial, social and emotional components. Here are other findings from the IFEBP study:

  • Three-quarters of employers say that the reason they have wellness programs is to improve employee well-being; only one-quarter use them to control or reduce health care costs
  • 9 in 10 employers offer at least one wellness initiative
  • Of employers who offer wellness programs, more than half reported a decrease in absenteeism and 66% reported an increase in productivity
  • Payoff can’t always be measured in savings in health care costs, but employees who are healthy have less stress, more focused and are less likely to leave

The Society for Human Resource Management offered these tips for designing a wellness program:

  1. Ask people what they want. Listen to their concerns, then plan your program.
  2. Individualize as much as possible. Make sure everyone is included, from the couch potato to the marathon runner.
  3. Decide how you will encourage employees to join. Gift cards, prizes and company contests are a few incentives you can use.
  4. Make it convenient. Consider an onsite fitness center or onsite access to health care screenings and services.
  5. Be a smart marketer. Think of creative ways to describe seminars and presentations to make them more appealing.
  6. Use technology. Apps and fitness trackers can help employees reach their health goals, and you can offer access to webinars on subjects such as financial planning.

The Health Services to Business team at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse supports employee wellness in a number of ways. Wellness at Work Challenges can be downloaded and implemented at any time. WellMe Sessions cover a wide range of relevant topics, many delivered conveniently at the Belle Square clinic in downtown La Crosse. Plus, number of health-related services can be delivered right to your workplace. Learn more by calling 877-458-4873.

Subscribe to WellMe
Get the WellMe and/or WellMe EAP newsletter sent directly to your inbox!