The Benefits of an Employee Wellness Program
One of the best benefits you could offer your employees is a corporate wellness program. Providing a corporate wellness program fosters an organizational culture of health and motivates employees to make better health choices that often lead to reduced stress, increased productivity, optimized human talent and resource investments, and strengthens employee engagement.
With an increase in health consciousness throughout the media, employee wellness programs are gaining more popularity than ever before across large and small companies. When done correctly, that is factoring in employee and business goals, wellness programs provide the right foundation to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Below are the top reasons to start a corporate wellness program.
Wellness Programs Improve Employee Health Behaviors and Outcomes
A properly designed wellness program encourages behavior change. Employees that are provided with the right education, motivation, tools, and social support are more successful in achieving their goals. These include adopting and maintaining better health habits that are sustainable over the long term.
Various wellness program studies indicate that through a form of accountability, employees adopt better nutrition, smoke less, consume less alcohol, and manage stress better. Wellness programs can also help to alleviate depression, improve quality of life, and decrease risks of cardiovascular disease. In fact, another study found an association between improved nutrition and decreased depression. Researchers used the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) as a measure, and suggest social interaction and positive reinforcement are also contributors to reduced depression.
In a 2013, Workplace Wellness Programs Study Report published by Rand Health Quarterly, researchers write:
“Consistent with prior research, we find that lifestyle management interventions as a component of a wellness program can reduce risk factors, such as smoking, and increase healthy behaviors, such as exercise. We find that these effects are sustainable over time and clinically meaningful. This result is of critical importance, as it confirms that workplace wellness programs can help contain the current epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases, the main driver of premature morbidity and mortality as well as health care cost in the United States.”
Wellness Programs Increase Employee Engagement and Morale
Another study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit provided striking evidence that employee wellness programs align employer and employee goals more closely. It provides employees with a sense that their health and wellbeing is a priority for the company thereby developing the same sentiment toward company metrics. Employees are also more likely to see their own wellness as being linked with professional success. Not only that, employees are likely to feel that their job has a positive impact on multiple aspects of their lives thereby increasing the chances to stay with their employer long term.
Increased engagement also leads to reduced recruiting, hiring, and training costs over time. Respected studies indicate savings as much as $353 per person, per year. Multiply that by the number of employees and you can potentially save millions of dollars per year. Employees who are engaged at work and also experience high levels of wellbeing were 45% more likely than other employees to adapt to change. The idea organizational changes or shifts in responsibilities can be very daunting. Adaptable employees are able to handle the change better, take the initiative, and work toward supporting company goals.
Another study, found that 85% of employers agreed that their corporate wellness program had a positive influence on company culture. It provided a feeling of being invested in and cared for by a larger community. It also increased happiness by promoting proactive behavior that extends beyond the individual and into the company by supporting colleagues.
Moreover, wellness programs encourage the participation of employees across all departments and levels. It is also a great opportunity to create a low pressure and fun atmosphere for employees to get to know each other as peers, create a buddy system for achieving certain goals, and promoting collaboration. As employees work on improving their health together, bonding and camaraderie will follow.
Specialized Wellness Programs Provide a Solid Return on Investment
According a systematic review of health risk assessments conducted by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF), for every dollar invested in a health intervention, employees recouped between $1.40 and $4.60 in avoided medical costs and productivity losses. Studies also suggest that wellness programs are associated with greater market valuation of socially responsible companies that invest in their employee wellbeing compared to other publicly traded companies.
Wellness Programs Focused on Meditation Reduce Stress Levels
Keeping a meditation practice is associated with many psychophysiological benefits. Through a meta-analysis, researchers were able to determine the psychological and behavioral impacts associated with mindful breathing. The study indicated that the main effects of mindful breathing have a direct impact on the autonomic and central nervous systems activities as well as the psychological status. The psychological and behavioral outputs related to these changes are increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.
The ILYNSI Yoga Wellness Program
Ready to start your employee wellness program? ILYNSI Yoga provides a broad range of yoga, mindfulness, and wellness programs in a variety of settings and to a variety of groups. Each program is designed to cater to your personal or group needs. These include: