It’s the beginning of a New Year, and with it comes New Year’s resolutions to stay fit, happy, and healthy. Studies show organizations can be instrumental in employees keeping their wellness resolutions, while at the same time positively impacting business operations.

The rise of wellness programs in the United States is prolific. Did you know that 92% of companies of 200 employees or more, implement a program with a health objective? Controlling rising healthcare costs due to chronic disease and obesity is reported as one of the top challenges companies face today. While wellness programs promote employees’ health, they are also becoming increasingly important when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. This is especially true at the executive level, where quality of life is one of the most important factors in a candidate’s decision.

Slone Partners, a leading executive search firm in the diagnostics, life sciences, clinical trials, CRO, healthcare IT and laboratory testing industries, has experienced firsthand the benefits of supporting a healthy lifestyle for employees. Its tailored wellness program promotes productivity, decreases absenteeism, reinforces a sense of belonging to the company, and improves retention.

Here are five ways a wellness program can boost your employees’ productivity:

#1 Recruit and Retain Top Talent

Wellness programs are becoming a selling point as organizations compete for new talent. From catered organic lunches, to group marathon training, to afternoon meditation and yoga, the better quality of life your company offers, the more likely you are to attract top quality candidates.

The hiring process is also the best time to integrate employees into the wellness program as they fill out new hire paperwork. This is the opportunity to explain how participation in your wellness program has a positive impact on work-life balance and how it aligns with your culture and your mission. 

#2 Improve Employee Health

Increasing fitness levels at work has several immediate, tangible results beyond reducing costs. 81% of companies with more than 200 employees reported an improvement in employee health. Companies report measurable improvements in BMI, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, as well as a reduction in tobacco and alcohol use.

This healthier lifestyle leads to improved sleep, reduced stress, and happier employees who are more focused and engaged. This results in lowering absenteeism due to sick days and more productivity during work hours.

#3 Supercharge your company culture

When employees can engage with each other outside of their job descriptions, it fosters a sense of community. It also gives companies an opportunity to amplify their company culture. Organizations on the progressive edge of the trend are taking this opportunity to integrate a wellness plan into the workplace.

#4 Lower Costs per Employee

If you are measuring productivity, then you have to look at cost. Almost all companies with wellness programs see a reduction in productivity loss. This is typically realized through reduced absenteeism and missed work hours due to illness, which can be equated to dollars saved per employee. This is compounded, especially at larger companies, when you look at a reduction in spending in healthcare and disability costs. Some companies even reported savings of over $1,500 per participant per year. Even if employees keep their work performance otherwise constant, this is a significant increase in productivity per dollar spent.

#5 Promote Healthier Eating Habits

The American diet is closely tied to chronic disease, cancer, obesity, and environmental pollution. Since the average worker consumes 1-2 meals per day at work, implementing a wellness program that addresses diet is the most effective way to improve employee health and the environment.

This has been widely adopted in the tech world, with companies like Google offering catered lunches so employees can make a healthy choice without investing much time in food preparation. Smaller companies can create a space for exchanging healthy recipes to make it easier for employees to cook at home. Companies who address diet in their wellness plans have reported a reduction in fast food consumption and an increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Conclusion

Wellness programs at work have a tremendous impact on a healthier lifestyle. Keeping your employees fit is the key to measurable improvements in employee health, productivity, and retention.

Read our new blog: The Explosion of Consumer Technology in Healthcare

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