Do You Work For a Healthy Company?
How and why you should get a wellness program going at work
If you run a company in San Diego, I’m certain that your leadership team is constantly discussing ways to save money, especially in the area of healthcare costs. After all, next to salaries, healthcare is your company's biggest expenditure. How can you save money and help your employees at the same time?
The answer is a well-developed corporate health and wellness program. When you begin a Corporate Wellness program, you not only invest in the physical wellness, safety, and emotional wellbeing of your employees, you save your company a great deal of money.
Medical costs decline by $3.48 and your absenteeism costs drop by $5.82 for every $1 you spend on corporate wellness. The Wellness Councils of America indicates that you enjoy a $24 return for every $1 you spend on wellness programming.
Locally, Clark Securities Products, Scripps Health, UCSD, and General Dynamics NASSCO, some of the winners of the San Diego Healthiest Employers 2010 award, have all reaped the benefits of unrivaled corporate wellness programs. (For five more fun and healthy companies, click here.) Clark reported spending less than $10,000 on their model program and it slowed its double-digit healthcare increases to less than 3% yearly in addition to reduced premiums increases. Wellness in the workplace works.
Corporate wellness programs utilize a wide range of activities, from onsite gyms to simple corporate wellness newsletters, emailing motivational messages, creating health promoting challenges, encouraging walking groups at lunch time, teaching stretching and fun weight lifting at the desk, and other types of “W.O.W.” (Work On Wellness) activities.
Is your workplace healthy? Do your co-workers enjoy a healthy, balanced lifestyle? Do they exercise regularly, eat well, and have regular physicals? Do they deal with stress in healthy ways? What about flu shots, blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks, cholesterol screenings, body mass index evaluations?
Healthy companies offer employees a variety of programs:
1. smoking cessation
2. alcohol abuse programs
3. healthy nutrition programs including healthy shopping and cooking classes
4. mental health support
5. fitness training including group workouts
6. pregnancy and pre-natal programs
7. weight reduction classes
8. stress prevention and time management training
9. health screenings
Here are the 5 simple steps I encourage to get a healthy program going in your company:
1. Get the C-suite to buy into the value of corporate wellness
2. Establish a cheerleading corporate wellness team
3. Do a survey of your employees’ health risks and interests
4. Link your company’s strategic plan to specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely wellness goals
5. Celebrate your dedication to health continuously while constantly evaluating your results
If your company does not have a wellness program, something is wrong at the top. Not only does the data indicate that healthy employees are more productive, but the culture of the workplace improves, morale and loyalty increase, injuries decline, and of course, there's the improvement in the bottom line on healthcare costs.