Diane Blum

Freelance Writer

"The Profitability of Employees’ Good Health"
posted Jan 2015 on Juvenescence.net
Having happier employees is good for a company. Morale is key to productivity and retention. Happy people generate positive energy; the company’s vibe is just better.
And healthier employees, and those who feel their company is investing in their health, are likely to be happier.
And that’s why there is a lot of data that supports the profitability of health and wellness programs in the corporate environment. In fact, most industry studies have shown that the ROI on a well-run employee wellness program can be as much as $3-$6 for every $1 invested, with savings realized 2-3 years after implementation.
The costs to not focus on employee wellness are big numbers as well. There are certainly medical costs. The average health care cost per employee was about $10,000 in 2013. And when you add-in the average cost for absenteeism and inefficiency, when someone is at work but ill, that is estimated to be another $14,000 per employee. That’s $24,000 per employee, on average.
And those costs don’t even tell the whole story. Over 70% of health care spending is caused by modifiable health risks such as lack of exercise, high blood pressure, being overweight, high cholesterol, etc. This is all preventative; but unhealthy lifestyle choices can lead to chronic diseases, costing businesses even more.
Our “cubicle” mentality has created lots of sedentary employees, many ending up with weight issues, chronic back pain and stress symptoms. The reliance on the Internet and virtual connections has dehumanized many work environments, and has created a difficult live-work balance, as working extra hours at home has become the norm. How do managers keep their employees motivated and engaged? How do they keep them healthier…and happy?
Providing the mechanism to help employees see the value of adopting healthier behaviors is key. Employers need to make a commitment to an ongoing mindset of employee wellness. The mindset needs to include: providing access to nutritious food and drinks (maybe tossing out the candy and soda machine), stress reduction (meditation programs, coaching), improved social connections in the work environment, integrating exercise and movement in each employee’s daily job, creating healthier live-work balance and ensuring employees have opportunities to learn about making healthier lifestyle decisions.
And this is where, “Get Your Groove On” comes in. It is a huge piece of the puzzle of creating a new company culture that fully embraces workplace wellness. Employees learn about:
• How to assess their overall health; why testing is important

• Weight management and body composition

• How to balance hormones to feel their best

• What foods to eat and why; nutritious meal ideas

• The importance of sleep

• Managing cholesterol and blood sugar

• Improving energy
Studies have shown that the benefits to implementing such a program include:
• Reducing absenteeism

• Improving on-the-job time utilization, decision making and productivity

• Improving employee morale

• Improved retention

• Helps in attracting new talent

• Improved disease management and prevention
And a healthier workforce in general, both of which contribute to lower health care costs and healthier and happier employees!
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