Human Resources
Thought Leadership

Wellness and Beyond: Employers Examine Ways to Improve Employee Health and Productivity, Reduce Cost

With American workers spending more than one-third of their daily lives at work, employers have an opportunity to capture employees' attention. As a result, employers have begun to weave various work-based wellness initiatives and programs into their overall benefits offerings.

Employer-based wellness programs range from smoking cessation and weight management programs to comprehensive on-site health and fitness facilities that may be tied in with condition management initiatives and other health programs. While the return on investment (ROI) varies for each employer, studies have shown that for every $1 an employer spends on wellness programs, employers can expect a $3 to $6 return on their investment. Wellness programs not only improve an individual's short-term and long-term health, but they also help curb absenteeism and presenteeism, improve productivity, and aid quicker return to work for employees on disability leave. Companies also offer wellness programs to remain competitive in the marketplace and as a recruitment and retention benefit.

The Hewitt report linked to below focuses on health trends in the U.S. that have led employers to implement comprehensive wellness strategies to improve employee health, reduce health-related costs, and improve productivity. It also examines the following:

  • Trends in employee health and productivity, including statistics on common health problems and diseases in the U.S.;
  • The components of employer-provided wellness programs and their potential impact on employee health and the bottom line;
  • Ways to assess employee health concerns, conditions, and behaviors in order to tailor wellness programs around these identified health risks and employee readiness to change;
  • Incentive approaches employers utilize to encourage employee participation in and completion of wellness programs;
  • Best practices for employers to ensure the success of their wellness programs through promotion and communication; and Employers' efforts and inherent challenges in measuring the ROI of wellness programs.

Wellness and Beyond: Employers Examine Ways to Improve Employee Health and Productivity, Reduce Cost