Chief yelling at employees to motivate himThese days, many healthcare plans include wellness packages striving to keep the healthy in good health rather than just serving the unhealthy.  Often, companies don’t install large-scale wellness programs because they believe them to be expensive and time consuming.  You may be surprised to learn that a good wellness program can actually help reduce insurance costs as well as other employee related costs in your business.

Just a few statistics

As a kitchen and bath industry professional, it should come as no surprise that in order to make money, you need to initially invest money.  According to an article published by Business News Daily, in a long term study done over the course of nine years, a Midwest utility company spent $7.3 million for a wellness program and ended up saving $12.1 million “in medical and pharmacy costs, employee time off, and worker’s compensation costs.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation studied 2,000+ companies  of a variety of industries and sizes and found that 90% of all surveyed large businesses and 65% of surveyed small businesses offered at least one specified wellness option in 2011.  *See the list of the specified wellness options under “how to implement” section below.

Benefits of wellness programs

Many companies offer wellness programs in hopes to:

  • Lower insurance costs
  • Reduce the number of absentees
  • Improve productivity
  • Reduce injuries
  • Improve the health and well being of employees
  • Improve company morale

The Kaiser Family Foundation 2011 study found that of the companies who instilled wellness programs, a majority of large businesses implemented them in hopes to improve employee health, reduce absenteeism and reduce insurance costs.  Smaller businesses tended to implement them because they were part of their health care plan.

Overall, out of the firms offering healthcare and wellness programs, 65% found it effective in improving the health of employees, and 53% found it effective in reducing the costs of their health care, according to the study.

How to implement

There are so many options when deciding which wellness plans to choose.  Think about your specific crew of employees, and decide what would be best for them. The specified wellness options referred to in the study mentioned above were:  gym membership discounts, weight loss programs, on-site exercise facilities, smoking cessation programs, nutrition or healthy living classes, personal health coaching, web-based resources for healthy living, or simply a wellness newsletter.  Stress management programs would also be a great option for the kitchen and bath industry.

Of course, implementing a wellness program is only half of the solution.  You also have to make sure your employees are aware of and take advantage of the programs.  Set an example by participating in them yourself, and have the rest of upper management do the same.  In seeing this, your employees may be more apt to participate.  Like many other businesses have discovered, you may find employee wellness programs to be a critical part of a healthy business. If you’re interesed in other ways to streamline your operations, access our free guide below.