Does creating a climate of well-being within the workplace help improve the culture and overall attitude of the workforce? What are the benefits for the employer?

Many of these programs have become fixtures at high profile companies such as Google, Facebook, and Coca-Cola. Where "feel-good features" include nap pods, on-site baristas, healthy lunch options, and yoga classes, which are then consequently used as good PR and often seen in the press. The common belief is that such features promote a more positive work environment, positioning health as a company culture, and are preventative in practice, which inevitably keeps expenses down.

Benefits of Wellness Programs 

Employee Benefits from this new proactive approach is being adopted by more companies rather than less. In fact, the number of employers offering financial wellness programs as an Employee Benefit (or Benefit Rewards) is on the rise. A report by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that one-third (34%) of 3,500 organizations polled increased benefits offerings within 2018. This included a 44% increase in wellness programs. One of the reasons being that a significant amount of spending goes towards issues that can be avoided and (in certain circumstances) prevented by lifestyle improvements.

Attracting and keeping top-tier talent is another incentive. These kinds of programs or initiatives, as part of a new candidate package, are attractive and often expected from a prospective employer. Plus, developing benefits that encourage a level of engagement for workplace relationships, can differentiate a company in an increasingly competitive marketplace for such high-level candidates. Making this part of an overall shift in how executives and corporate leaders view wellness programs as an investment in their employees. One that eventually can affect an organization's (actual and perceived) company culture, workforce capability, and business performance.

Boost Employee Productivity

But the discussion that continually seems up for debate recently is: do wellness programs save companies money? The recent “Illinois Workplace Wellness Study” conducted at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that wellness programs failed to reduce health care claims or lower employer health costs. The often cited RAND study also suggests wellness programs are having “little” effect on “reducing employer health costs,” researchers at the University of California at Riverside, UCLA, and Washington University in Saint Louis, MO, have now quantified an additional benefit to companies' bottom line - higher productivity of employees. This improvement was dramatic: approximately equal to an extra productive work day per month for the average worker. A recent meta-analysis found that each dollar spent on wellness programs saves $3.27 in care costs and $2.73 in absenteeism costs. 

Many benefit rewards programs also offer financial and career management, considering an employee’s long-term goals (which often solidifies their commitment to the company). If the workforce is actively involved in options to improve their well-being and career longevity as part of the company culture, this directly affects absenteeism. From a business perspective, it also lessens a company’s reputation of having a “revolving door” environment.

Custom Employee Benefits Programs

Establishing a strategic approach to well-being initiatives is also key. Some of the ways to successfully incorporate such programs are by defining the difference between well-being vs wellness goals, understanding programs should be optional (not invasive), and looking at ROI as long-term vs. immediate.

We customize wellness programs for all sizes of enterprises and their workforce. As an exclusive partner with Benefits America Insurance Services, LLC, Venbrook provides benefit packages for businesses of all sizes and industries. With a focus on developing and implementing benefit programs that foster a healthy and productive workplace, we are committed to creating efficiencies and significant cost savings for our clients. 

For all your Employee Benefits Solutions, please contact Robert Corenson: 

Robert Corenson | Managing Director | rcorenson@venbrook.com | (818) 598-8992

 

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