Why Workplaces Benefit from Offering Wellness Plans to Employees
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Share
Most business owners feel that having healthy employees is very important for their bottom line. Recent research shows that about 60 percent of employers with less than 50 workers feel that wellness programs and health benefits are worthwhile investments. This finding was true even in workplaces with less than 10 people. For businesses that employ between 50 and 100 people, the number of employers that said wellness plans are worthwhile investments jumped to almost 75 percent.
Important Employee Wellness Issues
One interesting finding in the survey was that employers felt the most important employee wellness concern was stress. More than 40 percent of employers listed this as their main concern. Some of the other issues ranking toward the top included weight management, psychological wellness, alcohol abuse, smoking and drug abuse. Each of these issues ranked around 10 percent or slightly higher.
Popularity of Wellness Plans
The number of employers with wellness plans in place is small. However, these plans are gaining popularity, so they are expected to increase in number rapidly in the future. Of the surveyed employers with a workforce between 50 and 100 people, slightly more than 25 percent had wellness plans in place. About 20 percent of employers with less than 10 workers already had plans in place.
Benefits of Wellness Plans
The key reason wellness plans are offered in the workplace is to lower the long-term costs of health care. Lowering turnover, attracting new talent, boosting employee morale and increasing productivity in the workplace are additional reasons employers offer these plans. Research also shows that employers can reduce costs by getting overweight employees to lose weight. The same is true for helping smokers to quit smoking. Research shows a higher rate of Workers' Compensation claims among smokers. And recent studies reveal that companies saw a better bottom line after helping overweight workers get active and smokers quit smoking.
In addition to offering wellness plans, some companies are going an extra mile to offer bonuses to workers who do not smoke. They are also offering bonuses to employees who contribute to their own wellness plans. This method can be viewed as a split savings. The amount saved is divided between the employer and participating employees. In some cases, employers are refusing to hire people who are severely overweight or smoke in order to keep their health care costs low.
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