Workplace Wellness Plan: Integration Matters

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.33.29 AMMight the key to a strong wellness plan be integration?

A new survey by World at Work shows that “workplace wellness programs and well-being initiatives are key components to improving employee health and containing rising health-care costs.” [full report here.] In fact, “96% of organizations support employee well-being programs and nearly three-quarters (74%) report they plan to increase their well-being offerings or activities in the next two years.”

Said Rose Stanley, WorldatWork senior practice leader: “Successful organizations are discovering that an innovative approach to well-being goes beyond the employee’s physical health. Today, we’re seeing more companies create flexible work schedules, introduce financial literacy tools, offer unique child-care and elder-care assistance programs and promote stress and time management skills. All of these integrated approaches encourage a more successful and productive workforce.”

However, the study found that “When comparing traditional wellness and integrated well-being approaches, those using an integrated approach showed a correlation to lower rates of employee turnover. Higher turnover rates are more common at organizations utilizing a traditional wellness approach (52%) than organizations using an integrated approach to overall well-being (39%).”

According to Employee Benefit News: “The following are targeted outcomes for which the integrated strategy received substantially higher number of ‘extremely positive/positive effect’ ratings than when the target was attacked with a ‘traditional wellness’ program. The first number reflects results from integrated efforts, and second, when part of a ‘traditional wellness’ program:

  • Employee engagement: 80%, 54%
  • Health care costs, 73%, 53%
  • Disability costs, 60%, 38%

The piece concludes: “The benefits of an integrated program were less evident for reducing absenteeism, boosting employee productivity and reducing employee stress.”