The top 6 reasons to have a wellness program
Health, wellness, and productivity are concepts that go hand-in-hand in the workplace. Through corporate wellness programs, employers have the opportunity to promote all three. As the way we work develops, programs that focus on employees’ health and wellness are more important than ever before. In fact, wellness programs are one of the most sought-after employee benefits nowadays, along with health insurance and paid holidays. This Pacific Prime Dubai article looks at the top six reasons why companies should have a wellness program.
Wellness program goals and objectives
Workplace, employee, and corporate are interchangeable prefixes for the same health benefit: wellness programs. This type of employee benefit is offered by employers to encourage healthier lifestyles among employees. These programs can be customized to address the unique needs of the workforce, though they generally focus on improving employees’ physical, mental, and financial health.
Corporate wellness programs can vary from ideas with a specific cause, such as smoking cessation or weight management, to incentive programs and health-related perks. For example, incentive programs allow employees that participate to accumulate points and exchange them for rewards. Health-related perks, on the other hand, can include gym memberships or onsite gyms.
Since employee wellness programs are not a legal requirement, there are no rules around what needs to be included. This gives employers the freedom to choose what to offer, and how often to offer it. For example, some wellness benefits can be ongoing whereas others can be one-time events or activities.
Employee wellness program benefits
As workplace wellness programs are increasing in popularity, some employers are questioning whether they’re even effective. After all, these programs are not legally required, so why should companies invest in them? Read on to learn how workplace wellness programs benefit a business.
1. Enhances employee health behavior
At the heart of any good wellness program lies a change in behavior. People’s behaviors can change through education, motivation, tools, skills, and social support, to name a few.
Fortunately, wellness programs make it easier for employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. As perhaps the biggest benefit of a wellness program, healthier behaviors have a positive snowball effect. What starts out as lower health risks lead to less chronic diseases, which eventually reduces healthcare costs.
2. Improves productivity
An employee who has poor productivity may physically be at work, but not actually working. This habit, which is known as presenteeism, can even cost companies more than healthcare expenses. There are many reasons why employees may have low productivity, including:
- Poor health
- Lack of understanding
- Distractions in the office
- Social media
According to studies, unhealthy lifestyle choices tend to correlate with higher levels of presenteeism. Employees who smoke, don’t exercise regularly, and have unhealthy eating habits are often less productive at work. Elevated health risks and chronic diseases, such as obesity and high blood pressure, are also linked with high presenteeism.
Corporate wellness programs that focus on improving the health of employees will have an impact on productivity sooner or later.
3. Lowers elevated health risks
A good wellness program should help employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Lack of physical activity and unhealthy diets contribute to a slew of health risks, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and higher blood glucose. When a person adopts healthier behaviors, they change the way they eat and exercise. They also reduce or eliminate tobacco and alcohol. While they may seem like small changes at first, they will make a difference eventually.
Reducing high health risks is imperative. If a person can reduce cholesterol, then their heart health will improve as well. You cannot be strong and healthy with high health risks, and corporate wellness programs make it easier for employees to minimize them.
4. Decreases absenteeism
Another benefit of implementing an employee wellness program is that it can help reduce absenteeism, which occurs when employees do not work without good reason. There are several reasons why companies with good wellness programs are likely to experience decreased absenteeism. Employees generally have lower absenteeism if:
- They’re in good health
- They can manage their stress
- They have normal blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol
- They’re not overweight or obese, which reduces the chances of getting sick
5. Reduces healthcare costs
Wellness programs at work can also be financially beneficial to the company. However, only a good corporate wellness program will effectively reduce healthcare costs. Simply having the odd healthy lunch or an annual seminar on nutrition is probably not enough to reduce healthcare costs. A comprehensive wellness program that actually improves employee behavior will result in a decline in healthcare costs over time. In fact, the savings from wellness program participation can significantly exceed the cost of the program itself.
6. Improves employee recruitment and retention
Companies that prioritize the health of wellness of their employees often have a better rate of employee recruitment and retention. These days, employees are looking for more incentive to join a company than salary alone. An organization that supports its employees and cares about their wellbeing stands out from the rest. On top of that, employees that are happy with how they are treated at work are more likely to stay at the company.
While these are some of the top reasons to have a wellness program, there are still many more reasons to invest in a wellness plan. A comprehensive wellness program not only improves employee health, but their lives as well, and your organization will be all the better for it.
How Pacific Prime can help
If you’re wondering how to promote wellness in the workplace, you can start by getting in touch with Pacific Prime. As a global employee benefits specialist and insurance broker, we can help you come up with the ideal employee benefits package for your organization, secure the right company health insurance plan, and so much more. Contact us to receive unbiased advice or an obligation-free quote or plan comparison today.
Curious about the health insurance market in Dubai, the UAE, or around the world? Our 2019-2020 State of Health Insurance Report covers the key drivers behind trends, challenges, and other insights to improve your insurance knowledge.
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