How do Employee Wellness Programs Benefit Employers?

October 3, 2023

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Healthy employees are happy and productive employees. As a corporate employer, you want all of those things. So, how do you build an environment where employees can thrive? 

The answer is by implementing a corporate employee wellness program.

While only 41% of employers provide wellness resources and information, these programs are gaining popularity. By implementing an employee wellness program that fulfills the needs of your employees, you’ll realize that it can impact every aspect of your business. 

Today, we’ll cover how employee wellness programs can benefit employers – read on.

Reduce Healthcare Cost

Studies have shown that establishing and actively promoting an employee wellness program will improve your business in the long run. The ROI on comprehensive, well-run employee wellness programs can be as high as 6 to 1, according to the authors of What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? from the Harvard Business Review. 

One of the most tangible benefits of establishing an employee wellness program is the potential to reduce healthcare costs. These programs can heighten employees’ awareness of their health and well-being, encouraging them to make better behavior choices. It is especially critical in chronic conditions that wellness programs, like diabetes prevention programs, can positively impact. 

Because of these changes in behavior, there may be a lower number of insurance claims. Plus, your employees will feel physically and mentally healthier. You’ll likely see a higher level of productivity as well.

Improve Morale and Mental Health

Morale and mental health go hand in hand in today’s fast-paced corporate environment. Both directly impact productivity, engagement, and overall job satisfaction. A robust corporate employee wellness program can support these business pillars by offering the resources, activities, and initiatives that increase morale and mental health. 

The most beneficial program initiatives include mental well-being, stress management, work-life balance, and mindfulness. By going above and beyond what is required by law, you’ll create a culture where employees feel safe to navigate their challenges with the help of your wellness program. 

As a result, your employees will feel supported, valued, and more motivated in their roles. It directly translates to higher productivity, increased morale, and better performance. 

Support Productivity and Retention

Employee wellness programs can significantly impact productivity and retention rates. According to EBN, companies providing access to more than seven employee health and wellness programs are nearly twice as likely to retain current employees. Employees are also three times as likely to recommend their place of work to other job seekers. 

Employees who are healthy, engaged, and satisfied in their roles are likelier to perform at their best. Employees who feel they are treated well are more likely to remain with their employer longer. 

Employers can boost energy levels, cognitive function, and focus by encouraging healthy habits, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. Additionally, wellness programs that provide opportunities for skill development, personal growth, and work-life integration create a sense of investment in employees’ careers, leading to increased loyalty and reduced turnover rates.

Employee Wellness Programs: Participation Tips

You could have the most fantastic employee wellness program in the world, but it isn’t serving its purpose if no one is participating. According to Gartner’s 2021 EVP Benchmarking Survey, 87% of employees have access to mental and emotional well-being offerings, yet only 23% of them use them. 

Why is that? And how do we change the status quo? 

There are typically two reasons why participation is so low. First, employees don’t know about the programs available to them or how to access them. Second, people frequently overlook wellness programs because they don’t think they “need” them or that it’s designed for someone else

Employers can take a tactical approach to empower employees and break down the stigma associated with mental health and wellness programs. Here are three ways you can increase participation in your health and wellness programs:

  1. Help your employees understand what their needs are and what you’re offering. Health and wellness is a journey, not a destination. Your employees might need a little guidance as they iterate toward wellness. Even if they call themselves “healthy,” there’s always something to work on. Creating a personal well-being action plan can serve as a launching point for employees to dig deep into their wellness journeys and hold themselves accountable. 
  2. Break down the stigma surrounding well-being. While discussions around mental health are much more common now than ever, there is still a stigma surrounding reaching out for support. Create an open dialogue leveraging trusted employees to discuss the importance and normalcy of reaching out for help. Leaders are critical in this effort – having them proactively initiate these conversations can significantly decrease their “taboo” nature. 
  3. Make it accessible and easy to participate in. Many employees want to participate but need more time to get started. Arguably, these are the employees that may need it the most. Carve out time during the workweek for employees to plug into the resources – don’t make them do it in their “free” time after they’ve left the office. By making your program accessible and simple to participate in, you’ll reduce the barrier to entry, making your program much more successful.

These strategies are effective alone, but to truly make an impact, leadership needs to be leading the charge – it’s crucial to the success of your employee wellness program.

Support Employee Wellness: Get Fresh Tri

Offering a holistic employee wellness program is essential to supporting your workforce – but it’s not enough. Your employees need to know that it exists, and even more so, they need to understand how to access the pieces that will help them along their wellness journey. Keep it simple and approachable yet robust enough to offer support across various pillars.

This type of program may sound like an elusive dream, but it can be a reality for your organization. Partner with Fresh Tri, and your employees will have access to a wide variety of resources to support them as they iterate their way to wellness. Because iterators never fail.

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