Wellness Programs Work if Properly Designed

Michael Booth writes in CFO Magazine that wellness programs may be unsuccessful if they fail to determine the program’s benchmarks, goals, and vision.

“While you can’t place a dollar value on personal well-being, there are documented costs associated with absenteeism, insurance claims, and turnover from employee disengagement and burnout. A properly designed and implemented wellness programs addresses and reduces many of these high-cost line items for corporations and therefore may yield a positive ROI.”

“Once you get the right metrics in place, research shows that there is a bottom-line benefit to be gained from properly implementing a wellness culture. In the study Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings conducted by professors at Harvard University, the cost/benefits ratio showed the savings from health promotion programs are much greater than their cost. Medical cost savings averaged $3.27 per dollar invested, and absenteeism savings averaged $2.73 per dollar invested.”

“And companies that focus on implementing preventative wellness programs can save as much as $4.50 for every dollar invested. Such was true in a case study of the health management program at Citibank. Furthermore, companies that were identified in a Towers Watson study as ‘highly effective’ in rolling out wellness programs are saving up to $1,600 per employee per year in health-care costs.”

The article offers a few guidelines that every organization should follow when creating a wellness program.