What Is The ROI of Implementing an Employee Wellness Plan?

being-a-healthy-entrepreneurCorporate wellness plans have been on the rise of late. Partly due to their rampant adoption by large, trend-making companies such as Google and Apple, they’ve become an almost natural step for many big businesses.

But what about smaller players? Or just companies that don’t fit the standard holistic mold? Is an employee wellness program, at the end of the day, just an altruistic move that only a few huge brands can afford?

Well, no.

In practice, wellness plans are often an incredibly sound investment for even the most pragmatic of companies. Let’s talk about why.


Hard Numbers

Let’s start with the concrete details of how wellness programs impact fiscal ROI. One of the most influential discussions of the topic came from the Harvard Business Review’s summary of various sources of wellness return information.

The numbers they came back with were astounding. The HBR’s article begins with a story from Johnson & Johnson. Company execs estimated that six years of a well-implemented wellness program had saved a total of $250 million, a return of $2.71 for each dollar invested.

According to another study, that impressive number might even be on the low side of possible returns. A pair of researchers working with a single employer found that a combination of factors led to a rough return of 6:1.

Let’s talk about a couple of reasons why.


Health Insurance

Here’s the big one, and the easiest factor to track. Company-offered insurance plans are obviously ubiquitous, and have costs that are just as obviously linked to overall employee wellness. Working to improve employee health and fitness slashes the frequency and magnitude of health care claims. The well-run program mentioned in second above study managed to cut claim costs by $1,421 per person.


Lost Time

Sick days, and semi-sick days, can quickly draw in empty employer dollars. The costs of a serious illness also go far, far beyond salary too. Lost productivity actively impacts your bottom line, and sets other employees back as they either wait for delayed work, or are shuffled to fill sickness-caused gaps.

A good wellness program helps keep people in condition to either avoid or successfully cope with otherwise serious conditions. Keeping your workforce at work ensures that productivity remains at a theoretical high, and that you don’t wind up throwing money away on perpetually ill workers.


Worker Retention

Worker churn is harder to visualize than the above reasons, but it’s just as important. Retaining top talent can be difficult, and a wellness plan can go a long way towards keeping effective employees happy and disinclined to jump ship.

Not only is a wellness plan a clear monetary perk for employees, it also helps cement company culture, helping workers see their colleagues as workout buddies and teammates instead of simply fellow office drones.


Bottom Line

As should be clear at this point, there’s nothing fluffy or pointless about wellness programs. While many benefits tend to fall into the “soft” category, that doesn’t make them any less important. And the ones that don’t? Even if we focus strictly on the most measurable of metrics, there’s still plenty of evidence that wellness programs go a long way toward company health as well.

ROI can be a complicated topic, but it can also be an impossibly easy one. The benefits of a wellness program are obvious – running one isn’t necessarily so clear-cut, but the investment is definitely well worth the return.

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Entrepreneur-Resources.net is happy to provide guest posting opportunities for small business owners. This article was created by one of our contributors.

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