The workplace wellness industry is a popular trend that employers have used to try and mitigate healthcare costs and raise productivity. Although these programs are popular, we looked into whether they are actually successful and if so, what methods work best.
Research by the Rand Corporation in “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money,” has shown wellness programs can be successful in lowering costs, but you must have the right approach. The study found that the most successful workplace wellness programs had a varied approach that focuses on general lifestyle improvement, disease management programs, and a well-planned method of implementation.
The first step encourages employees to exercise, quit smoking, and generally keep up a healthier lifestyle. These lifestyle changes stop long term issues from developing like cancer or diabetes. Disease management is even more important than general wellness. Step-by-step disease management can minimize spending on expensive hospital stays and procedures related to managing chronic conditions.
These programs were the most successful when employers engaged employees genuinely and positively. A successful wellness program focuses on improving the lives of employees not just improving the bottom line. Clear goals like better safety measures, employee satisfaction, positive health culture, and generally boosting morale get employees invested in these programs.
These changes take time, but a solution to high premium cost is an investment from both employers and employees. In the end, it’s important to find the balance between what works best for your company and the people you work with.