Between 2010 and 2011, benefit costs escalated by an average of 6.2%, more than twice the rate of inflation. Contributing to this figure are the increasing health risks among Canadians. Studies show that 63% of us demonstrate three or more unhealthy behaviour patterns (e.g. physical inactivity, tobacco use). Dealing with your employees’ health is to your competitive advantage since the payoff is significant: greater productivity, lower absenteeism, and reduced healthcare costs.
A successful workplace wellness program can also help build an organization’s profile as a socially responsible employer of choice, improving its ability to attract new talent and retain existing talent.
Successful wellness programs:
- Start with reviewing data – health risk assessments can be one way of collecting data about health issues. It is also important to consider data from your group benefits, retirement, employee assistance and disability programs, as well as workers compensation reporting.
- Survey employees – just sending out the survey can be a morale booster as it shows the employees you value their input.
- Establish a Wellness Committee – the committee does the research, puts together a strategy, and talks to their colleagues about it. Committees are a way to co-create wellness programs, as well as a strategy to boost participation, and to hear valuable feedback about the program.
- Measure the return on your investment – this allows the organization to determine the financial benefits of the investments and can help sustain health and wellness programs in the face of competing organizational priorities.
Having a holistic approach to your program can improve the overall health and wellness of your employees, including their physical, mental and financial well-being.