A Business Case for Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs are a strategic investment that not only enhance the health and well-being of the employees but also deliver tangible returns on the investment.

So, if you invest in a good workplace wellness program, what are the tangible benefits you can expect in return?

One review of over 20 different studies of workplace wellness programmes found that tailored well-being interventions led to an average reduction of 1.7 absentee days per employee annually. That translates into a company of 100 employees potentially adding 170 days to productivity. These programmes ran on average for 2 years – it generally takes that long before absenteeism reduction becomes really apparent.

The majority of workplace programmes are not tailored to the companies and employees  needs and this is why companies often do not see such impressive statistics. Ensuring value for the investment may mean paying more at the offset but all organisations should demand metrics to demonstrate impact and should also expect to see a tangible improvement in workplace culture. Basically, it should feel like a nicer and healthier place to work.

Clearly this needs input from those in the organisation responsible for workplace wellness programmes as well as senior management.

Employee Health Care

According to the Health and Safety Executive in the UK, workplace injuries cost the equivalent to £7500 per non-fatal injury per year. While there are multiple causes for these accident all too often human error, as a result of fatigue, brain fog, burnout and stress are all too often the primary cause.

A focus on a healthier workforce and proactively putting programmes in place to minimise workplace injuries & accidents is at very least addressing a care of duty to those vulnerable employees as well as being a workplace that has these sometimes catastrophic accidents that may result in higher costs than the wellness programme that the whole workforce could benefit from!

Shift Workers

With close to 20% of employees now officially doing shift work companies need to be mindful of the extra demands on the health of these employees. In short they are at a significantly higher risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, burnout chronic pain and mental health issues. However this can be mitigated by putting the correct lifestyle measures in place and understanding lifestyle health takes on a whole new level of importance.

Value on Investment (VOI)

Beyond the traditional ROI, there’s a more qualitative measure of success: Value on Investment (VOI). VOI gauges how wellness programs affect various aspects of an organization, going beyond financial metrics.

Measuring VOI can be challenging, but a tailored wellness program designed to meet specific employee goals and needs is easier to assess. Factors contributing to VOI include:

  1. Improving Company Culture: A culture of wellness, when embraced from top management and permeating throughout the company, boosts productivity, employee engagement, and overall success.
  1. Increased Productivity: Wellness programs that address both mental and physical health as well as general well-being can significantly improve employee productivity. Healthy and happy employees are more motivated, leading to higher job satisfaction and performance.
  1. Enhanced Customer Service: Engaged, healthy employees provide better customer service. Reduced sick days mean fewer instances of short-staffing, translating into improved service quality.

In summary, workplace wellness programs not only enhance the physical and mental well-being of employees but also yield tangible benefits such as reduced absenteeism, improved employee retention, and a more positive company culture. They are not just expenses but strategic investments that pay dividends in both the short and long term.