Top ten reasons to have a health and wellbeing program

Gabrielle Lis

Need some ammunition to make the case for investment in health and wellbeing? Look no further than our latest top ten...

1.    You can expect a 300% return on investment. Health and wellbeing programs provide an excellent return on investment because they reduce:

  • Compensation costs;
  • Absenteeism / sick days / lost time;
  • Presenteeism, or when workers come to work but have reduced productivity; and
  • Staff turnover.

2.    Many key risk factors for common illnesses are modifiable. If there was a ticking time bomb in your office, you’d take measures to diffuse it, so why wait until after employees become ill before targeting modifiable risks? Health and wellbeing programs can help diffuse the following risk factors:

  • Smoking;
  • Physical inactivity;
  • Poor diet and nutrition;
  • Obesity / unhealthy weight;
  • High blood pressure;
  • High cholesterol; and
  • Stress.

3.    As the workforce ages, the risk of injury and illness increases. With age comes a lessening of aerobic power and capacity, as well as decreased muscular strength and endurance. Nobody can stop the clock altogether, but remaining active and healthy definitely makes a difference in how quickly and gracefully we age. A targeted health and wellbeing program can help you keep your older, more experienced employees fit for work and safe on the job.

4.    Healthy, happy employees are also the most productive. According to one study, the average healthy employee works 143 effective hours per month, while an unhealthy employee works only 49 effective hours per month. Imagine how a workplace health program that targets fatigue, for example, could boost productivity – and slash caffeine related expenses!

5.    Organisations have a corporate responsibility to promote health. Workplace health and wellbeing programs can substantially improve the lives of employees and their families. Because we spend so much time at work, researchers suspect that organisations’ health ‘cultures’ have a huge impact on employees’ health behaviours. A well structured health and wellbeing program is one sign of a socially responsible organisation.

6.    Employees benefit hugely from health and wellbeing programs. The benefits to employees include:

  • An improved sense of wellbeing;
  • Higher levels of fitness;
  • Better management of current health conditions; and
  • A reduction in the risk of future health problems.

7.    You can tailor the program to target workers’ comp hotspots. Health and wellbeing programs are definitely not one size fits all. If there is a particular illness or type of injury that plagues your workplace, a health and wellbeing program can raise awareness and provide solutions. You can speak directly to the people most at risk, using their language and framing the issues in a way that they will relate to.

8.    Caring for employees generates good will. Loyalty thrives when people feel that their employer has invested in their happiness and wellbeing. From individual health assessments to warm and fuzzy team challenges, health and wellbeing programs provide a great opportunity to give employees a little loyalty generating TLC.

9.    You have the opportunity to increase social cohesion in the workplace. Workplace health programs often involve team based interventions and can be a great way to get employees to mix and mingle. Don’t underestimate the importance of social interaction at work: it increases motivation and decreases the risk of depression.

10.    It gives you the opportunity to focus on the positive. The best way to motivate people to good health is through making them aware that healthy living will improve their lives. If you need a good news story in your workplace, a health and wellbeing program might just provide it!