Getting Real About Wellness Programs
By Terri L. Rhodes
CCMP, CLMS, CPDM, MBA
About 75% of HR professionals said that their organizations offered some type of a wellness program according to the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In another SHRM survey, 72% of the respondents noted that wellness programs were “somewhat effective” or “very effective” in reducing the costs of healthcare.1
Corporate wellness programs are nearly an $8 billion industry in the U.S. and are expected to grow at a clip of nearly 7.8% through 2021.2 The Global Wellness Institute puts that number at $43 billion worldwide, even though only roughly 9% of the three billion member global workforce has access to workplace wellness programs at their jobs.3
As the interest in employee wellness programs has grown, much focus has been placed on measuring the return on investment of these programs. But, let’s get real, the most tangible cost of not implementing a program is loss of human capital.
When an employee is ill or doesn’t feel well, productivity declines and absenteeism and presenteeism increases. Both of these can have an impact on or a reduction in your company’s productivity. Ensuring that you have enough people to answer your customer calls, respond to client needs, care for patients, etc. is an important argument for wellness programs. If we invest in educating employees and providing tools and resources for employees to take better care of themselves, their overall health should improve.
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