Workplace wellness programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. It is well known that workplace wellness programs can help lower workers’ compensation costs. But there are also other benefits of these programs that can benefit both employees and employers.
Great workplace wellness programs include more than just safety initiatives. Not only can these programs help reduce work-related injuries and possibly lower work comp costs, but a well-executed program can also help increase employee morale, lead to better health, and improve quality of life—both at work and away—for all participants.
Workplace Wellness Programs Can Reduce Stress
We live in an increasingly stressful world, and stress often manifests itself in both health challenges that can lead to lost time and difficulty in employee retention. Wellness programs that include stress reduction and stress management assistance can help employees learn habits and behaviors that lead to lower stress levels.
Workplace Wellness Programs Encourage Improved Health Habits & Behaviors
Personal health should be a component of any workplace wellness program. Programs that focus on more than just workplace safety, can help employees improve their personal health, including weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation, healthy eating, etc. Having co-worker and management encouragement and support for developing healthy habits can increase motivation and success.
Workplace Wellness Programs Can Build Employee Morale
Programs that focus on both personal health and safe work habits help to create a healthier workforce, reducing injuries and illnesses, and helping to mitigate or manage chronic health conditions. Healthier employees are able to be more active, both in and out of the workplace, and tend to enjoy life more, leading to a healthier, happier workforce.
Workplace Wellness Programs Can Improve Productivity
As wellness programs become established and more employees participate, their improved health and safety will lead to improved productivity in the workplace. Generally, employees who are in better health, who are better rested and have better morale, perform better at work and get more done.
Workplace Wellness Programs Can Reduce Health Care Costs
According to an article in the December 2010 Harvard Business Review, well-administered workplace wellness programs can lead to substantially reduced healthcare costs and actually produce a positive return on funds invested in such programs.
In one example, Johnson & Johnson, after implementing such a program, saved $250 million on health care costs as compared to the previous decade, and saw an ROI of $2.71 for every dollar spent. This does not appear to have included the amount healthier employees may have saved on their individual health care costs.
What Can You Do to Engage Employees in a Workplace Wellness Program?
To assist your employees in getting healthy, staying healthy and reduce the risk of a workplace injury or illness:
- Create an employee safety education committee devoted strictly to health problems that correlate with injuries.
- Teach employees how to properly investigate accidents and determine ways in which they could be prevented. This may include the following:
- Ergonomics evaluations
- Lift equipment evaluations
- Offer personal health profile screenings for employees to identify their risk factors. This should include screenings for cholesterol, bone density, glucose, body mass index and other essential tests.
- Provide personalized health coaching and self-help materials.
- Offer quarterly corporate challenges to promote weight loss and activity.
- Offer quarterly educational safety and health seminars.
- Consider implementing a cross-promotional safety and health program with your health care provider.
- Provide incentives to employees who fulfill health-related goals or remain free from injuries for an established amount of time.
- Refer all employees who suffer a work-related injury to the wellness program coordinator for a consultation.
- Incorporate a safety presentation in your wellness seminars.
- Workers’ compensation managers and risk managers should provide health and wellness referrals to injured employees.
- Distribute monthly safety, health and nutrition tips to employees.
For more information and resources on how you can create an effective safety and health program, contact Roper Insurance & Financial Services workers’ compensation specialists today at (303) 721-1145 or by email at [email protected]