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Why Worksite Wellness?

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Why Worksite Wellness?

The data is in: Worksite Wellness Works! The research and evaluation literature continues to grow and provide support for worksite wellness programming. A good reference for doubters is Dr. Ron Goetzel's (ROI expert) 2008 The Health and Cost Benefits of Work Site Health-Promotion Programs (Link) that was published in Annual Review of Public Health.  This article has 119 references and is a great update of the worksite literature.  You can pick a PDF of this article and more like it in our members only section.

What do the experts tell us about investing in worksite wellness? Partnership for Prevention (Link) in their Healthy Workforce 2010 Source Book (2001) suggest four reasons supported by the research literature.

1. Improve productivity – health promotion is an investment in human capital. Employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health. They are also more likely to be attracted to, remain with, and value a company that obviously values them. In short, a company’s productivity depends on employee health.

2. Lower healthcare costs – medical cost savings maybe less evident than productivity gains, especially for smaller firms and those whose health plans are not self-insured. Nevertheless, it is a fact that medically high-risk employees are medically high-cost employees. The both use more healthcare and generate higher claims costs than their low risk peers.  Learn more about how to lower healthcare costs with articles like Learnings from Dee Edington (Link) on our members only section.

3. Enhance your corporate image and long-term interests by promoting health beyond the worksite – Although there is little data to discern the impact of community-wide health promotion activities on business success, there is no disputing that the health of a community is related to the economic vitality of the businesses found there.  Companies recognized for healthy work environments and cultures are employers of choice!  Checkout Fortune Magazines Best Places to Work (Link) and you will see wellness is high on the list. 

4. Help the achieve national health objectives for the year 2010 – Employers occupy a prominent and influential position in the health environment, with unparalleled access to working Americans. They are in a unique position to contribute to the health of their employees and their communities.  Healthy People 2010 (Link) recognizes the power of a healthy workplace.