Is your company debating on whether or not to invest in employee health and wellness? The growing workplace trend has raised some questions as to whether or not it is a company’s responsibility to to take on the burden. But consider that it’s not just about employee health any more. There are bigger implications for investing in your employees wellbeing: businesses that promote a culture of wellness have a competitive edge.
A competitive advantage
Those adaptive businesses have a lot to gain. According to a survey by Virgin HealthMiles, 77% of employees think that employee wellness programs positively impact the company’s culture. Additionally, some key findings show that approximately 9 in 10 employees surveyed said they find participating in employee wellness programs improves their fitness as well as their overall happiness and well-being. Good news for companies: Happy employees create a happy culture. In turn, culture and positive brand awareness attract and retain valuable employees, saving the company money and time.
A healthy workplace
There’s so much to gain from investing in workplace wellness. A study by Humana found that employees in wellness programs are 12 percent less likely to experience health issues caused by work-related stress. And, nearly 10 percent are less likely to find professional obligations interfering with their ability to make healthy choices regarding nutrition and exercise. The Humana study also confirmed that stress remains a severe health problem in the workplace. But, more than 70 percent of the employees surveyed concurred that company wellness programs can have at least a moderate impact in reducing stress.
The literature also supports that reduced health care costs can be correlated to workplace wellness programs. As an example, for every dollar spent on a workplace wellness program the company saved $3.27 in healthcare costs. It pays to have a healthy workforce: literally, productively and emotionally.
A modern approach
Determining what type of wellness program you want to invest in can be tricky. Digital technology can help to modernize your approach and provide employees with wellness initiatives that are more engaging. In fact, research has explicitly linked the use of wearables (such as Fitbits, Apple Watch, etc.), apps and other technology to increased employee productivity, as well as reduced absenteeism, lower stress levels and decreased employer healthcare costs.
A survey from Health IT Outcomes reported that 90 percent of employees surveyed said they wanted their company to provide a wearable device for tracking fitness activity as an incentive. Companies are responding: Nearly half of the employers surveyed by the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) offered or sponsored a tracker device as part of their wellness program.
By investing in digital technology, employers can help boost participation in corporate wellness programs. Devices can be a reminder to employees of their health status, allowing them to monitor their physical fitness activities, heart rates, body temperatures and even sleep patterns for a holistic wellbeing approach.
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