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Corporate Wellness and Productivity: A Win-Win Situation

Corporate Wellness and Productivity: A Win-Win Situation

Most large companies offer some kind of corporate wellness programme for their employees. It could be a corporate gym membership, free health screenings or perhaps even giving employees free fitness trackers to monitor their health. Most of us are skeptical at these schemes, we think that they are just some publicity stunt for good PR, some necessary spending to keep people happy. However, what most of us don’t realise, is how much companies actually save/earn by implementing such programmes. It is a win-win scenario if you don’t realise it yet.

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Here’s Why

  1. Healthier employees are less likely to miss work and get an MCAn overweight man misses 2 more days of work a year in average than one with a healthy weight. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  1. Companies that support workplace health and care for their workers have more employees at work every day (probably because they hate work less)
  1. Healthier employees carry over better health habits that impact both the employee and their family (such as nutritious meals cooked at home or more exercise with the family). Thus, employees skip work less to care for sick loved ones
  1. Employees that fall sick less often claim less medical and dental benefitsObese workers filed 2x the number of workers’ compensation claims and 7x higher medical costs from the claims. They also lost 13 times more days of work from work injury and illness than their peers (Duke University Medical Center, 2007)ConAgra did a research which showed that out of the five health factors including body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, and blood glucose, people with >4 of these risks are 2.5x more costly to hire!
  1. Companies that care for their employees show employees that they matter, that they are not just a small cog in a large machine. Hence they are more inclined to work harder and more efficiently

What is an Effective Corporate Wellness Programme?

The Harvard Business Review believes that a successful wellness programs have 6 strong pillars. No matter of the size of the company, having these pillars will guarantee a successful programme.

  1. Multilevel LeadershipCreating a culture of health takes charismatic leadership at all levels—from the C-suite to middle managers to the people who have “wellness” in their job descriptions.
  2. AlignmentA wellness program should be part of the firm’s motto and beliefs. A natural extension of a firms aspirations if you will. Don’t forget that a cultural shift takes time. Once you have your employees believe you love them, they will work for you.
  3. Scope, Relevance, and QualityWellness programs must be comprehensive, engaging, and just plain excellent. Otherwise, employees won’t participate. Don’t just throw them a gym membership, encourage them to go with their colleagues and family, organise some fitness activities to bond your employees.photo249607131579394134photo249607131579394135
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  4. AccessibilityAim to make low- or no-cost services a priority. True on-site integration is essential because convenience matters. No company gym? Buy them a Fitbit so they can track their health any-time anywhere.
  5. PartnershipsActive, ongoing collaboration with internal and external partners, including vendors, can provide a program with some of its essential components and many of its desirable enhancements. Have healthy food vendors supply your cafeteria, work with gyms to offer corporate discounts, organise mass marathons for charity.
  6. CommunicationsWellness, it’s a message. How you deliver it can make all the difference. Sensitivity, creativity, and media diversity are the cornerstones. Relay why you are doing this and how it works to engage your employees.

Do Corporate Wellness Programmes Really Work?

A comprehensive suite of 42 corporate wellness studies revealed a 25% reduction in absenteeism and sick leave, 25% reduction in health costs, and a 32% reduction in workers’ health and disability compensation.

If you need a real case study to convince you, Johnson and Johnson managers agreed that these programmes are ell, “a comprehensive, strategically designed investment in employees’ social, mental, and physical health”. J&J’s leaders estimate that wellness programs have saved the company $250 million on healthcare costs. Between 2002 and 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.

So you tell me? Does it work? I’m sure it does. Large companies that want to keep employees happy and healthy should most definitely start investing in some form of corporate wellness programme. These programmes really prove that Health is indeed Wealth.

References

www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/benefits/productivity.html
https://hbr.org/2010/12/whats-the-hard-return-on-employee-wellness-programs
http://www.fastcompany.com/3033411/do-corporate-wellness-programs-really-boost-productivity

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