Corporate wellness program has often been viewed by companies as nice extra, not a strategic imperative. In actual fact, there is ROI (Return On Investment) of a comprehensive, strategically designed corporate wellness program that invest in employees’ social, mental and physical health.

Below are some of the studies reported by Leonard L Berry in the December 2010 issue of The Harvard Business Review:

Since 1995, the percentage of J&J employee who smokes has dropped by more than two-third. The number who is physically inactive or has high blood pressure has reduced by more than half. J&J wellness program saved the company $250 million on health care cost over the past decade (2002 – 2008). ROI was $2.71 for every dollar spent.

Dr Richard Milani and Carl Lavie studied one company of 183 workers and their spouses. They measured body fat, blood pressure, anxiety and other parameters. For those who are moderate risk were put through rehabilitation and exercise training with expert team. After 6 months, 57% converted to low risk status and medical claim cost reduced by $1,421 per participants compared to previous year. The control group showed no difference. The conclusion was ROI of $6 in health care savings.

Other benefit is employee retention. A study by Tower’s Watson of the National Business Group on Health on companies with highly effective wellness program reported significantly reduced voluntary attrition rate. It was found that employees who participated in the company’s wellness program do not want to leave. Exit interviews asking what leaving employees will miss most. The number 1 answer is: the wellness program.

For more information on the importance and benefits of corporate wellness check out my previous post

What are the key factors that make corporate wellness program successful?

Leonard L Berry and his team interviewed 10 organizations and 300 people of different management levels across a variety of industries whose wellness program have achieved measurable results. From the interview, 6 key factors stand out:

  1. Multilevel leadership – top management commitment is important
  2. Alignment – ensure the program is integrated culturally
  3. Scope, relevance and quality – address employee as a whole person
  4. Accessibility – make it easy
  5. Partnership – leveraging available resources
  6. Communication – overcome resistance and enhances interest

Take care of the 6 key factors and the investment in the health and well-being of employees will pay off. So, make sure you establish a comprehensive wellness program as part of your budget planning for the new financial year.

If you need help in the development of employee wellness program, contact me for further discussion.

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