Employee Benefits: Wellness Programs Continue to Be Important in 2016

You may have made — and possibly already given up — your New Year’s resolutions, but many companies are hoping that you’ll make your health a priority in 2016.  That’s because eating healthy and exercising regularly can make you a much more productive employee, according to researchers.  Here’s how:

Saving Company Dollars

Healthy eaters are 25 percent more likely to be productive and those who exercise for 30 minutes at least three times per week are 15 percent more productive on average.  Healthy habits also mean you’re less likely to call in sick and tend to be a top-rated employee.

This information is not new; employers already know how wellness programs can benefit their bottom line.   A 2010 analysis of Johnson & Johnson’s wellness programs found that they saved the company in health care costs and returned $2.71 for every dollar spent.

Yes, that’s right.  Offering wellness benefits as part of an overall benefits package can actually save the company money once the increased employee productivity and decreased health plan costs are factored in.  As other health care benefits get more expensive, employers can see a return from less costly prevention programs in the form of lower insurance premiums.

Improving Employee Satisfaction

Studies of employees themselves show that those with wellness program options are more satisfied with their job (70 percent vs. 59 percent without) and their overall benefits package (66 percent vs. 58 percent).

Offering what you can to improve health shows an employee that you care about his or her well-being and that see them as more than a body at a desk.  As well, participation in wellness programs can help build bonds between co-workers and even between managers and those who work for them.

What’s the Trend in 2016?

Of more than 400 employers surveyed last year, nearly 80 percent offered some type of wellness benefit, whether that was healthy food options on site, gym or exercise subsidies or a program to help employees stop smoking.  In 2016, another 5 percent planned to add wellness programs.  Those employers who offer some options are looking to expand what they provide to their workers.

Call us to find out more about our wellness program options that can provide the most bang for your benefits dollar.