Benefits of Starting a Wellness Program
Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures
There are many benefits of incorporating employee wellness programs into a company. Most people know what they need to do to be healthy. No one believes fast food is good for you, or getting on the treadmill for twenty minutes four times a week could increase your risk of a heart attack.
The issue here is not lack of knowledge but more about motivation. People are not motivated to eat healthier foods, exercise, stop bad habits like smoking cigarettes, and start to live a healthier lifestyle.
As an employer this is bad news because if you've been watching the news the last couple of years almost every company is looking for a way to reduce their healthcare costs. The key word there is "looking" because they still haven't figured what to do about the consistently rising costs of health care across the nation. The challenge here once again is that they are not giving the employees ownership of their health and putting band aids in the form of increased costs to them for their employee's indifference. Employees who smoke cigarettes for example on average cost way more than employees who do not smoke.
But what is the big deal with employee wellness programs anyway? And do they really work? The answer is an emphatic yes. A program that is setup by a company to incentivize its employees to be healthier accomplishes a plethora of things.
A healthier staff is a much more productive staff. People who look and feel their best will in turn produce the best output of any employees. Healthy people have considerably more energy and are much more motivated to produce while they are at their job. This in turn will result in a much more productive staff which in the long-run will increase the productivity of the company.
Obviously the no-brainer here is the fact that a healthier staff will reduce healthcare costs to the company. Health care insurance is one of the biggest expenses an employer incurs on behalf of its staff outside of the individual salaries they earn. If fewer employees are in and out of the hospital every other month, this will eventually reduce the cost of keeping the employees healthy and coming back to work. Programs like this also eliminate some of the more severe issues like heart attacks or deadly cancers which can force most employees to be absent for months at a time.
Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.
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