21 Reasons Employers Should Implement Employee Health and Well-being Programs in 2021
The last year has been anything but normal for employees and many have struggled with their mental and physical health. As the new year begins, offer your employees resources to help them improve every aspect of their health through an employee health and well-being program.
Employees that feel valued by their employer, result in increased retention rates and allow them to perform their best. Wellness programs have many benefits for companies in addition to their employees. Nicole D’Uva, Associate Vice President of Employee Health and LifeWork Strategies, highlights the reasons your company should implement employee health and well-being programs in 2021.
1. Help lower health costs
Well-being programs help to lower health costs since they encourage their employees to be active and provides opportunities to them through gym discounts, healthy eating habits and workplace health incentives. Healthy employees are sick and injured less often leading to lower insurance costs for the company.
2. Increased productivity
Employees that are healthier physically and mentally often have less to worry about with health problems or feeling ill. Plus, when they feel their best, they are going to perform at their best too.
3. Higher morale
A well-being program can increase company morale because employees know the company is invested in them since they are promoting and offering ways to better their health and overall well-being.
4. Increased recruiting
When people are looking for a job, they have a checklist of things that make them want to work for an organization. Often this includes the types of benefits the company offers. It is more likely job seekers will want to be part of a company if a well-being program is offered.
5. Reduced costs for workers’ compensation and disability
Having healthier employees means fewer employees will have a workplace injury, illness or disability. “Not only does this save an employer money with insurance, but also reduce the costs for the need to train a new employee to cover a position in the interim,” says Nicole.
6. Decreased absenteeism
Employees who live and/or are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles will miss fewer days of work due to health problems or illness with themselves or family members. This is also true with missing fewer days because family members are sick since their habits will most likely transfer to others in their household as well.
7. Reduced health risks
When employees are active, their risk for diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses are greatly decreased because they are encouraged to exercise and eat well and are actively doing this.
8. Increased retention
Employees who feel they are taken care of and valued by their employer are more likely to stay with a company. This is because they know that the company cares about their well-being and they offer standard benefits for when they are ill, but also to keep them healthy mentally and physically.
9. Healthier employees
Well-being programs encourage employees to live healthier lives, which leads to healthier employees and families. When employees are healthy, they tend to get sick less often, have fewer medical risks and cost the company less overall.
10. Help to reduce stigma around mental health
Employee health programs often provide resources for mental health. Providing these resources to employees and supporting those who are utilizing them, helps employees recognize they are not alone and are encouraged to get help when they need it. Not only that, but if they need to take time away from work, they won’t be nervous to ask since the resources are being provided by the company and use of them is encouraged.
11. Inspire behavioral changes
Well-being programs assist employees in evaluating their current health behaviors and find ways to improve their long-term health by providing resources to them. This can be anything from encouraging exercise by walking a few times a week to providing access to speak with a mental health professional to become mentally healthy. “Some well-being programs can even provide incentives for employees to help further encourage them to become healthier,” adds Nicole.
12. Tax incentives for small businesses
Some states provide incentives to businesses in order to encourage them to provide wellness programs to their employees. Depending on what state you are in, your company may be eligible to receive a tax credit.
13. Attract high talented workers
Workers are more likely going to want to work for a business that is offering them a well-being program as an added benefit as it shows that the company cares about them as an individual. Work-life balance and company culture are two of the larger qualities that workers look at when applying to jobs. Talented workers know what they are worth and will go where there is more opportunity and benefit to them.
14. Improved disease management and prevention
Well-being programs can assist those who have illnesses like diabetes to better manage their disease and help to decrease the risk of other diseases as well.
15. Provides goals for employees and management
A wellness program encourages healthy living. When an employee sees what they can change in their life to become healthier and knows that their workplace is encouraging them to do so, the well-being program can help them figure out the goals they want to accomplish. The company and employees may have different goals, but overall, their goal is the same – to be healthy as individuals and as a company.
16. Higher employee satisfaction
Workers are constantly looking for good benefits, pay and incentives. Individuals who are offered these opportunities are going to be happier working for the company because their needs have been met. While growth may occur, and employees leave for opportunities not offered in their current role, overall, those that are with the company and or have left will feel more satisfied during their time there.
17. Valued company culture
Implementing a well-being program helps to also create comradery within teams and between other employees. “When everyone is offered the same opportunity, and knowing their company wants them to be healthy, people will be more encouraging to each other and find ways to accomplish their goals together,” explains Nicole. This might be by creating sports leagues within the company to encourage teamwork and exercise, creating fitness challenges or offering workout classes – either virtually or in person.
18. Valued employees
Employees that know the company they work for cares about their health and well-being are going to feel better working for that business. Employees that feel valued and cared for are also going to perform higher and better than those who do not.
19. Inspire healthy lifestyles
Well-being programs offer incentives and ways to track different portions of your health including how often someone exercises, how much sleep they’ve had, what they’ve eaten and how many calories they have consumed throughout the day. By tracking these portions of someone’s health, it helps people realize where they need to make changes and can help them make and keep these healthy lifestyle changes.
20. Increased employee engagement
Offering well-being programs gives employees opportunities to be involved and active in their workplace. Providing ways to better themselves not only increases engagement with one another but also overall because they start to feel healthier and can focus easier.
21. Increased adaptability
Wellness programs can assist employees with adapting to change by providing resources and ways to help manage any stress that might endure. “With resources available to them, employees will know where to find them, making them more apt to using them and helping them adapt to any change coming their way,” says Nicole.
Well-being programs can help a company in many aspects including helping them grow, assist their employees to adapt and increase productivity and talent because of the benefits offered and provided to employees. “Employees want to be valued and cared for. By giving them benefits that assist them with different aspects of their lives, they understand how important they are to their company,” explains Nicole.