Fun Fact: Americans are growing more health conscious. From fitness and meditation to organic and Mediterranean diets, there seems to be a rise in awareness.
Not so Fun Fact: We are seeing a rise in stress. Many Americans spend more time at work than they do at home. They are living fast-paced lives of eating on the run and crashing at night. There’s not a lot of time for health awareness.
Neither of these facts work harmoniously, of course. Since knowing is only half the battle, how do businesses, large and small, keep their exhausted employees in good health without losing hours? Better yet, why should they want to?
Jim is a longtime employee at ABC Enterprises. At 42 years old, he’s overweight, smokes a pack a day, gets about 3 hours of sleep, and has a terrible diet of sugar and fastfood. He’s on medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and he’s about to be diagnosed with type II diabetes. When Jim isn’t sitting at his desk, slumped over spreadsheets, candy wrappers, pop cans, and a computer, he’s outside smoking a cigarette in the bitter cold. On average, Jim wastes about three hours of his day smoking and/or staring off into space because he’s also in the beginning stages of cognitive decline—he just doesn’t know it yet and when he does find out in about ten years, he’ll attribute it to aging. Jim gets 10 paid sick days per year, but he’s at sick day #12 as of today. It’s safe to say that Jim is not working or even living at his best potential. ABC Enterprises has noticed that their longtime employee Jim isn’t the only one deteriorating. It would seem that a lot of their employees fit the downward trend. Rather than fire them all, what can they do? How can ABC Enterprises increase productivity, lower absenteeism, and help their longtime employees live longer and have more energy? If only there was a win/win solution to this problem…
Corporate or Workplace Wellness
Its proper definition is any workplace health promotion or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and improve health outcomes. Known as ‘corporate well-being’ outside the US, workplace wellness often includes activities such as health education, screenings, and weight management programs.
Did you know? Many chronic diseases are preventable and even reversible. So, what does that have to do with corporate wellness? Chronic diseases make up a whopping 75% of total healthcare costs (CDC). Illnesses such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are preventable yet tend to be the ones more likely to halt progress. They also happen to be some of the most expensive diseases to have. Still not catching on?
Let me bullet point this for you…
Benefits of Corporate Wellness:
- Lower Healthcare Costs/Premiums: Work site wellness programs that focus on improving employee behaviors and overall health will see a bending of the healthcare cost trend. As participating employees improve their health this lowers the need for doctors visits, medications, hospital stays, and overall healthcare needs in general. Healthy habits are contagious, which can also affect and lower the overall need for healthcare for the dependents of the employees. This could also be an incentive for employees to want to participate: As their health gets better their need to pay the higher deductibles get lower. Even better news, most often employers will discover that the savings from the program will be greater than the actual cost of the program itself. Almost every study shows a positive return on investment (Aldona, 2018). Need more? Here’s a great study to read about Johnson & Johnson’s own assessment on their corporate wellness participation for more than 30 years.
- Increase Productivity: Poor employee productivity is defined as physically being at work but not working. The cost associated with this type of poor productivity is at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses (Aldona, 2018). Employees who are sluggish and fatigued do not perform at their greatest ability, which leads to extended deadlines and slow production.
- Lower Absenteeism: Healthy and happy employees come to work. Period.
- Improve Employee Health Behaviors: Unhealthy behaviors are responsible for most chronic diseases (Aldona, 2018). These diseases cause approximately 70% of all deaths and up to 75% of all healthcare costs. Lack of physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use are directly responsible for 70-90% of chronic diseases (Aldona, 2018). Most wellness studies show the employees in corporate programs have better health behaviors. They eat healthier foods and smaller portions; they exercise more often, smoke less, and limit their alcohol intake (Aldona, 2018). As healthy behaviors increase, so does awareness and determination, leading to beneficial outside behaviors such as wearing seat belts more often and finding ways to control their stress such as yoga and meditation. Wellness programs have even shown to help alleviate depression, as well as improve overall life satisfaction (Aldona, 2018).
- Be the Sought After Employer: Benefits such as pensions, retirement, maternity leave, vacation packages, and healthcare plans are designed to help your organization recruit and maintain qualified employees. Do you want the best for your business? Then you want to attract only the best in return. In order to do that, you need to offer the best.
- Create a Camaraderie among Your Employees: Coworkers join together as compatriots working toward a common goal. Another term for this is a timeless, universal phrase: TEAMWORK. It’s a domino effect, really. Teamwork doesn’t just make a dream work—it promotes above the line behavior and accountability when that connection is created. When everyone is on the same page, learning and improving together, that progress makes its way across the board.
So, what now? How do YOU get your employees started?
We have a solution! Forum Health Clarkston can bring health to your employees with on-site group lunch and learns. This Corporate Wellness program includes on-site body composition testing, so that we can customize each persons meal plan and make them successful in accomplishing their health goals. Your employees will learn why they need to fuel for performance, how to navigate the grocery store, the nitty gritty on macro and micro nutrients, how to boost the immune system, and real-world eating (travel, entertaining). Employees will feel better, have more energy, improve their sleep and moods, and have less sickness. Want to learn more? Call today to schedule a meeting: 248-625-5143.
Forum Health Clarkston
7300 Dixie Hwy. Ste. 500
Clarkston, MI 48346
Aldona, Steve, Dr. 2018. https://www.wellsteps.com/blog/2018/07/04/reasons-to-have-a-wellness-program-benefits-of-wellness/
Love, Joshua. 2013. “Five Reasons Corporate Wellness is More Important Than Ever.” Young Entrepreneur Council.