In our previous blog post, we discussed the basics – and a few benefits – of workplace wellness programs, also called occupational medicine programs. This time around, we’ll review how these plans specifically improve, enhance and advance the well-being of both employees and employers.
Some of the most surprising benefits of a wellness program are the long-term advantages, which extend well beyond initial financial boost. As their name suggests, workplace and employer wellness programs are designed to promote healthy lifestyles – and as studies show (which we’ll look at in a minute), becoming healthier in the long run outweighs the monetary savings that a wellness program invariably provides.
These benefits are particularly advantageous for business owners and employers. Having a healthy, productive workforce is one of the great “two-way” payoffs in the business world:
- Workers with positive, healthy lifestyle habits enjoy better on-the-job performance and miss fewer days due to illness and injury.
- Consequently, a business benefits from greater productivity – and just one common outcome is better: bottom-line profits, which can result in bigger bonuses, better company perks and more!
Ultimately, wellness programs provide outstanding return on investment (ROI). ROI is a common business term, but it applies to other areas, including health and well-being. All business owners are interested in maximum ROI, and wellness programs offer many benefits in this regard, both initial and long-term.
Benefits, Times Two – One Plan, Twice the Impact
Workplace wellness programs provide a “more than meets the eye” aspect of healthy living. A groundbreaking study from RAND, titled the Wellness Programs Study, analyzed the two principal ways in which occupational medicine and wellness plans benefit companies and employees alike.
- Lifestyle habits
- Disease and illness management
Each individual aspect comprises the primary ROI for workplace wellness programs. Improve daily health with more exercise and optimal diet, and your employees are happier – period. Add an effective strategy for dealing with preventable illnesses, and you have an ideal occupational medicine plan in place. But how do lifestyle habits impact a wellness program, and what specific ways can a company’s occupational medicine policy affect ROI?
Benefits of Wellness Programs for Employers and Business Owners
ROI optimization is often framed in monetary gain. For example, if you invest $100 in the stock market and your year-end balance is $115, your ROI is 15%. Most financial analysts agree that a 15% return on investment is outstanding. How does ROI on wellness programs stack up, and what does this mean for business owners and employers?
More than 30% of U.S. adults are classified as obese, but workplace wellness programs are actively bucking that trend. From better dietary incentives to cash rewards for participating in healthy initiatives, employers use their wellness and occupational medicine plans to meet a variety of goals. For example, Coors Brewing Company did an internal study to track the ROI of their company wellness program, and the results were nothing less than startling. Coors took a proactive approach with their program by installing fitness equipment and exercise machines throughout their corporate campus. As a result, analysts concluded that for every $1 that Coors spent on this equipment, their medical insurance plan saved $5.50.
To put that type of wellness program ROI in perspective, Coors realized a 550% benefit from getting their employees to utilize better habits – exercising at lunch, lifting weights before or after work, and other calorie-burning activities. For those employees that took part in the Coors corporate wellness program, their absentee level dropped nearly 20%. In other words, their wellness program participants were in the office, on average, an extra day per week.
Human Capital – The Most Important Factor in ROI for Wellness Programs
“Return on investment” isn’t a strictly financial term. Let’s examine a much more personal side of the benefits of wellness programs – how occupational medicine and wellness plans can actually help save lives.
When discussing ROI from a pure business perspective, the investment refers to capital – cash, hard assets, buildings, equipment and other assets easily assigned a monetary value. But think about the benefits of a wellness program from an injury and fatality prevention standpoint. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are anywhere from 4,500 to 5,500 fatal work accidents every year in the United States. Incidents involving injury are much higher, yet can be limited with a workplace wellness program in place.
To cite one well-known example, the RAND Wellness Programs Study showed that employee hospital admissions were reduced by nearly one-third for workers who participated in an occupational medicine program. Set aside the lost work time, scheduling headaches and other immediate logistical concerns and think about possible litigation against your business; with less hospital admissions, there’s a reduced chance your business will face a lawsuit, fines and penalties.
Injury evaluation and management is a big part of helping workers recover from a workplace mishap – and also ensure that injuries don’t happen again. When an occupational medicine plan also has a worker’s compensation program to supplement the core group of products and services, everyone comes out ahead. It’s one thing to promote healthy living outside the workplace – and it’s quite another to take care of those inevitable injuries and missed time that happens at the office. A worker’s comp program is an essential element of any well-rounded, comprehensive workplace wellness program. For the best possible ROI with employer-based occupational medicine, a worker’s comp plan is a must!
Enjoy the Benefits of a Wellness Program Today – Contact UCE!
Urgent Care Extra is a top provider of workplace wellness programs for employers and business owners in Arizona. With drug testing, safety awareness, injury treatment and even a worker’s compensation program, our occupational medicine plan provides immediate ROI for both employee health and overall company finances.
UCE’s workplace wellness program helps limit disability claim costs, which has a tremendous impact on corporate finances, whether you employ 20 or 20,000 people. If your company doesn’t already have a workplace wellness plan in place, or you want to improve your existing occupational medicine initiative, please call Urgent Care Extra today at (480) 988-9108. Or stop by any of our walk-in healthcare centers to discuss workplace wellness programs with our staff. We have dozens of clinics all over Arizona to assist you. Thanks for reading the UCE blog – we look forward to hearing from you!