Corporate wellness programs have been around since the mid 80’s but just in the past decade, these programs have gained strength and acceptance as a justified means to fight the rising costs of health care. These costs have risen out of control and have been taking a huge bit out of company budgets. In addition to neutralizing the rising health care costs, corporate wellness programs have proven to:
- Reduce absenteeism.
- Reduce presenteeism losses
- Achieve higher employee productivity.
- Reduce workers’ compensation and disability-related costs.
- Reduce injuries.
- Improve employee morale and loyalty.
Corporate wellness program range from a simple health awareness display placed in a high visibility area such as the company cafeteria to large scale health promotion programs complete with initial company/employee health status analysis (conducted through health risk appraisals and analysis of past health care cost trends) and targeted employee health interventions. The return on investment of wellness programs is dependent on the amount of investment made by the company in manpower and resources.
According to Larry Chapman. MPA in WELCOA’S publication Fundamentals of Worksite Wellness, the following help in the overall success of the wellness program:
- Strong upper and middle management support
- Behaviorally sophisticated programming
- Positive and upbeat image
- Well designed and balanced programming
- Well-paced programming
- Effective use of incentives