If you’re considering a corporate wellness program but you’re afraid it’s too expensive, you’ve fallen victim to a myth that can end up costing you money.
Companies lose $84 million a year in productivity due to chronic physical and mental illness, says The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Wellness programs can significantly improve your company’s productivity and profits.
Here are the top five myths of corporate wellness programs and why they’re wrong:
Myth 1: They’re too expensive.
Investing in your employees’ health leads to savings in several ways:
- Better insurance rates for your company.
- Fewer injuries mean lower worker’s compensation rates.
- Fewer sick days and less money spent on medical care.
Wellness programs let you reshape your budget and focus on prevention. You’ll save money in lower health and insurance costs.
Myth 2: Employees won’t participate.
When you start a corporate wellness program, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your employees show an interest in participating. Do this:
- Simplify the program options but keep it comprehensive.
- Ask your employees what heath issues matter to them.
- Promote the program at every opportunity: in department meetings, the company newsletter, on flyers throughout the building and in ads for job openings.
- Involve employees with specific information that affects their health.
- Appoint an internal wellness champion, someone who they can go to with questions.
- Explain how employees can take responsibility for their own health.
- Keep the program fun, interesting and easy to use.
Build a bridge between what the program offers and something employees can do to turn new wellness ideas into habits. Remind them that participating can save them time and money. And they won’t have to manage their family’s health.
Myth 3: Wellness focuses on physical health.
A comprehensive program can include financial health, spiritual wellness, gratitude, physical fitness and mental health. And that means even greater savings for you.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates depression causes 200 million lost workdays annually in the United States, at a cost of $44 billion. Remind employees that their mental health matters as much as their physical health.
Myth 4: It’s none of my business what my employees do outside of work.
Lifestyle choices account for most illnesses. Poor eating, lack of exercise and stress can lead to repetitive injuries, recurring colds or more serious illnesses.
You can respect the private lives of your employees and still tell them how they can change their work habits to have far-reaching results. For example, you might encourage them to walk on their 15-minute break instead reading a magazine in the cafeteria.
Myth 5: There’s no way to tell if a program works.
You can measure the success of your program using several metrics. They include lower health care costs, fewer on-the-job injuries and fewer sick days. As more employees participate and know you care about them, you’ll see more camaraderie and company loyalty.
Contact Midland Health to find out how we can help you.
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