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Employee Wellness Program Benefits and Options 

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday October 25, 2022

Updated : Thursday February 1, 2024

An employee Wellness Program can go a long way toward improving company culture and employee health and productivity. We explore all the benefits of these types of programs. Plus, we provide a comprehensive list of the different options employers can offer to build a thriving workplace culture and engaged workforce. 

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Why Have an Employee Wellness Program? 

There are certain issues that Employee Wellness Programs can tackle. While the jury is still out on the exact figures regarding the return on investment, what is clear is the connection between healthy employees and a company’s bottom line. 

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Employee’s Mental and Physical Health 

Most companies’ biggest expense is employee compensation, and part of that includes employee benefits. Physically or mentally unhealthy employees may end up increasing the costs of the benefits plan more in the long run. Conversely, implementing a wellness program with a disease management component can reduce health plan costs. A Rand study saw an 86% reduction in health plan costs. 

And healthier employees are more engaged and productive. Which leads us to…. 

Employee Productivity 

Happy and satisfied employees are 31% more productive and have a 19% increased accuracy on tasks.  And everyone can appreciate that more productive employees mean better business outcomes.  

Wellness programs help create a positive environment and company culture, which affects the satisfaction level and productivity of your employees. In fact, 91% of employees with a workplace wellness culture reported being satisfied with their jobs. 

Time lost due to absenteeism (and therefore lost productivity) can also be attributed to employee wellbeing. Employees with low “life satisfaction” miss an average of 15 days more per year than those who are highly satisfied with their lives. 

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Employee Turnover 

Employee turnover costs Canadian companies an average of just over $22,000 per year, according to a study by Express Employment Professionals. And the more employees you have, this cost only increases.  

A Mercer study looked at the connection between employee wellbeing and turnover and found that employers who were doing the most for their employee’s wellbeing had an 11% lower turnover rate. 

Return On Investment (ROI) of Wellness Programs 

Many studies have been done on the monetary return for businesses. Are wellness programs really worth it? 

One problem when analyzing the reports is that wellness programs can range from in-depth and supportive, to “lip service” programs that only look good on paper but are not very useful.  

“Well-designed wellness programs lead to an ROI ranging from $1.5 to more than $3 invested over a time frame of two to nine years.” – Winning with Wellness report (2016) 

However, one thing we can all agree on is no one is losing money by investing in their employee’s wellbeing, and for the most part, the types of programs boost employee satisfaction, productivity, engagement and overall health. 

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Happy Employees: 1 woman sitting on stool with laptop and speech bubble, 1 man standing behind a desk with one fist raised in a celebratory manner; 1 man standing and holding a giant light bulb and with a speech bubble.

Common Wellness Program Options 

We’ve compiled a list of the most common Wellness Program options available and the benefits they provide to employees. 

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More Wellness Program Options 

Here are some more ideas for helping employees keep their healthy lifestyle going both at work and afterwards. 

Employee wellness is a journey, not a magic button. It takes patience and a willingness to try new ideas. However, as demonstrated in this article, we think it is well worth the investment in the people that help to make your company as amazing as it can be. 

Learn best practices on how to implement or audit your Workplace Wellness Program

7 Tips on How to Start a Workplace Wellness Program