Launching a Health & Wellness Program
Health and wellness programs have become more common among the nation’s larger enterprises. Now is the time for small businesses to begin implementing their own initiatives. Health and wellness programs offer benefits not only for the wellness of the employee, but also the success of the company. Let’s look at these benefits and ways to launch these programs.
Harvard Business Review, a major publication, lists some of the core advantages of effective health and wellness programs, including the following:
- Low turnover rate: After the SAS Institute, an analytics firm, implemented a health and wellness program they saw a drastically lower voluntary turnover rate of 4%.
- Decrease in workers’ compensation: The Maryland Anderson Cancer Center, an oncology specialist, saw $1.5 million in savings and a 50% decrease in workers compensation premium roughly six years after it launched its health and wellness program.
- High return on investment: Harvard Business Review estimates the average return on a $1 investment into health and wellness programs to be $2.71, which is 270%.
These examples of health and wellness programs show immense cost savings, improved employee engagement and retention, lower annual health care expenditures, and impressive returns on investment. Small businesses also can benefit.
Where to begin
Harvard Business Review recommends business owners first work to create objectives for the program, such as financial benchmarks or metrics related to paid sick leave. There will need to be a reward component that motivates employees to take part in the program. This can be decided upon following conversations with staff. The policy will need to be put into words and made available to all workers.
Leaders, you then will want to work out the finer points of the program, such as whether it will be outsourced or managed in-house, and the amount of money that will be devoted to its launch. Companies that would like a little more guidance regarding the establishment of a successful health and wellness program should consider taking a look at Benefits Pro, an online site dedicated to benefits professionals, which offers a guide to beginning a wellness program. This will help to build a strong foundation even for first-time participants in health and wellness programs.
Remember, these programs can have profoundly positive impacts on small businesses, paving the way for a healthier year in 2017. Do not wait another year — launch one of these programs as soon as possible!
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