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3 Ways Companies Benefit from Corporate Wellness Programs

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Organizations of every size are becoming more interested in the health and wellness of their employees. The numbers don’t lie. It has become all too obvious that the most productive and successful companies have better profit margins and happier employees when they invest in workplace wellness programs. Here are 3 ways that organizations are benefiting from corporate wellness programs.

1. Prevent and Manage Chronic Disease

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While Canadians are living longer than ever, the rate of chronic disease has increased. As the population of aging, pre-retirement employees continues to rise, so does the frequency of chronic disease in the workplace.

Did you know?

  • In Canada, the chronic disease rate is increasing by 14% every year
  • 3 out of 5 Canadians over age 20 suffer from a chronic disease
  • The Canadian economy loses $122 billion annually in lost productivity from treatment of chronic diseases

Illness prevention comes in many forms, but may include implementing healthier snack and meal options in cafeterias, encouraging your employees to quit smoking through incentive options, introducing weight-loss challenges, and finding ways to reduce workplace stress. As a matter of fact, prolonged exposure to stressful situations can contribute to a wealth of chronic diseases, so it’s important that your employees aren’t working in an oppressive or stressful environment.

2. Reduce Employee Absenteeism

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Absenteeism is a major factor in lost productivity and revenue. The average rate of absenteeism in full-time employees is 9.3 days a year. While that might not seem like a staggering number, absenteeism costs an estimated 2.4% of gross payroll, or a 16.6 billion-dollar cost to the Canadian economy (2012). Yet surprisingly only 46% of Canadian organizations actually track their absenteeism numbers (source). Implementing workplace wellness programs can keep employees healthy and happy, which can help significantly reduce absenteeism rates.

A happy and healthy employee is a productive employee. Employers benefit greatly from ensuring that their employees are in optimal health and spirits. A corporate wellness program shows a vested interest in employee health and wellness by educating and providing the means to live a healthier lifestyle, through initiatives such as lunchtime fitness programs, educational seminars, biometric screenings, and free gym memberships.

3. Decrease Cost of Employee Benefits

The average age of the Canadian workforce is increasing, which means that workplace benefit costs are skyrocketing. The cost of specialty and biological prescription drugs is impacting the cost of benefit plans in a major way. Typical age-related health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory conditions are the most prevalent claims in health care systems all over the world. More and more people need to utilize their health benefits.

Did you know?

  • Healthcare benefits cost an average 10% of gross payroll or $7,000 per full-time employee
  • In 2016, employee health plans increased on average by 8% (source)

There is a direct relationship between employee health and the cost of employee benefits. More companies are realizing that by setting up initiatives to improve and maintain the health of their employees, they end up saving much more in bottom-line dollars than they spend on their workplace wellness programs. 

According to Tim Nimmer, chief healthcare actuary at Aon Hewitt, “Many of the factors driving the upward momentum for higher medical costs are ones that individuals can change when the appropriate support and programs are available. Employers can play a key role by motivating individuals and their families to take a more active role in managing their health, including participating in health and wellness activities and better managing chronic conditions that frequently drive higher costs for treatments.”

Workplace wellness programs show a vested, mutual interest in employee health. A stress-free and healthy environment increases productivity and drives down costs. If you’re interested in implementing a corporate wellness program for your employees, contact Closing the Gap today.

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