Wellness Champion

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

Written by Maria

The rising cost of healthcare is a hot topic. Employers are looking for ways to cut the costs while still remaining competitive in the hiring market. Benefit packages are one of the major influencers when hiring, but also in retaining talent. One option companies consider is instituting a workplace wellness program. But just how common is this? And does it really affect healthcare costs?

Popularity and ROI

For more than five years, AFLAC has been a leader in analyzing the impact of a great benefits package on hiring and retention, as well as overall costs to employers. In their 2016 report they found that 54% of companies have a corporate wellness program of some sort–up from 46% last year. Moreover, for companies offering cutting edge options for wellness programs, including providing fitness trackers, or on-site medicine, 50% of those said they saw a decrease in overall healthcare costs as a result. Engaging wellness programs always deliver positive ROI for employers. One caveat, is that you should consider what employees want in a wellness program in order to maximize ROI.

You might wonder if the return on investment will be enough to institute these programs. The answer is an overwhelming yes. Large studies have shown that for every $1 invested into worksite health promotion, employers had a cost savings of $3.27. Additionally, for each dollar there was a $2.70 return in reduced absenteeism. In layman’s terms, you save at least twice what you spend when you invest in a wellness program. This proves that workplace wellness gives companies a huge return on investment (ROI).

Wellness programs attract talent

Besides saving money, investing in employee health through a wellness program dramatically helps a company attract the best talent. AFLAC has analyzed thousands of companies’ benefit packages and found that a certain elite set of companies are “talent attractors”: they offer the best benefits packages, and they get the best people in return. In 2013, on average only 35% of US companies offered a wellness program, whereas 51% of talent attractors did. 21% of US companies offered an on-site fitness facility, whereas 30% of talent attractors did. AFLAC’s numbers from 2016 suggest that the rest of the market is modeling itself after these companies, working to make benefits a top priority in their company.

AFLAC’s numbers also show that no matter what size your company is, benefits matter to your employees. Many of our clients are small businesses looking to gain a competitive edge on the hiring market. Having a wellness program that rewards healthy activity not only distinguishes these small companies from their competitors, but also has provides a great return on investment. Find out more how you can take advantage of the benefits wellness programs have to offer!

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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