Exercise endorphins are often called “the happy hormone.” And who wouldn’t want happier employees?
“Healthier people work harder, are happier, help others and are more efficient.” (Forbes)
And who wouldn’t want happier employees when it saves money, too?
Corporate Wellness Magazine says that “every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs.”
Additional benefits that employers are noticing with wellness programs are a reduction in absenteeism and employee turnover. Wellness programs can also be an appealing perk to prospective employees.
Even before the Affordable Health Care Act, surveys were showing that employers have been trying to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs by offering financial incentives. And in the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of employers pursuing or executing aggressive wellness programs. Some of the most popular tactics to reduce healthcare costs include health-risk assessments and biometric screenings.
As the Harvard Business Review (HBR) put it, “government incentives or not, healthy employees cost you less.” But in 2014, in an effort to battle obesity, the Affordable Health Care Act will expand to allow employers to reward employees for meeting health goals within qualified wellness programs.
But employers should be wary. You don’t want your workers to resent the company wellness program. As the HBR warns, employees aren’t going to buy into a program that’s only about making more money. With wellness programs, the goal should be to achieve a work environment where people can really feel inspired, motivated, and excited about their work.
Make the wellness program about enriching the culture of your workplace. You may not be able to top Google’s 100,000 hours of subsidized massages, three wellness centers, and 7-acre sports complex, but a simple gym membership discount could go far in making your workplace happier and healthier. If making employees happy is always a top priority, maybe one day your company will land a spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For!
Do you have a wellness program at your company? We’d love to hear your comments about the experience.