Column, Money Matters

Good health is good business

By Kevin Theissen

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, productivity losses linked to employees not showing up for work cost employers approximately $225 billion annually, or over $1,600 per worker. Business owners and managers understand very well the rising cost of health care and the loss of productivity associated with absenteeism and employee disengagement.

Which is why 98% of employers surveyed by Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory firm, say they’re committed to health and productivity improvement in the years ahead.

Employer efforts are bearing fruit. According to one report, 38% of employees are more engaged and nearly 20% are more willing to make an extra effort when they see that their employer is invested in their wellbeing.

The profile of a successful wellness program

Tailored: An effective employee wellness program is multifaceted and must reflect the personal needs and interests of a diverse workforce.

Incentivized: Incentives, such as rewards and recognition, communicate the employer’s care and support for the program and help drive employee participation.

Measurable: To maintain ongoing support, there should be tracking of the program’s impact.

Common wellness program offerings

The most common employer wellness offerings include smoking cessation, physical activity, mental health, health club membership, and weight management.

Yet a majority of employers agree that their companies are focusing more on overall wellbeing, as opposed to just physical wellbeing. As a result, many are adding other features to their wellness programs, such as social health and financial management.

A bonus

Good health is as much a social endeavor as it is a personal journey. These programs can often create employee interactions unlikely to occur during the workday, prompting conversations and relations that catalyze new ideas and improve your work culture.

Kevin Theissen is the owner of HWC Financial in Ludlow.

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