According to the American Journal of Health Promotion, almost half of all American workplaces in 2019 offer some type of wellness program to their employees. This is an encouraging statistic! However, one has to stop and wonder if these health programs make a significant difference for the average worker.
Do corporate health programs reduce healthcare costs?
A full 60% of U.S. adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Most employers are interested in offering wellness programs that decrease their cost of healthcare. According to a recent study, only about 50% of employers who offer health programs found them helpful in achieving that goal. However, there are other -perhaps better- ways to gauge the success of a corporate health program.
productivity, job SATISFACTION and overall wellness associated with corporate health
The same study that shows a disappointing lack of reduction in healthcare cost also reveals that employees who participate in the programs go on to engage more consistently in weight management and exercise programs. Researchers estimate that this continued interest in health will bring about long term mental and physical health benefits. Ultimately this improvement would likely lead to a long term reduction in the company's bottom line.
Another survey published in JAMA shows that employees who are offered a wellness program are significantly more likely to feel that their health is supported by the company. Work environments that promote a culture of wellness bring about higher rates of productivity as well as higher rates of job satisfaction. Employees in these settings are more likely to have a positive relationship with senior management and say that their company is a good place to work.
So, although some companies experience a noticeable financial benefit from corporate health programs, they may not be the most direct path to financial gain. However, if you want to improve work environment, promote job satisfaction and increase productivity, then you should absolutely invest in the health of your employees!