by Kate Vandeveld

If you ask a WhyWhisper team member why they opted for the consulting lifestyle instead of a traditional 9-to-5, they’ll likely tell you that one of the many reasons is to take care of themselves better, both mentally and physically. When you’re working eight or more hours every day, especially at a desk, it can be difficult to find the time to move around or do the things that keep you healthy. But it’s so important!

That’s why we’re so into the recent growth of corporate employee wellness programs that are helping those in more traditional workplaces stay healthy. These days, 70% of employers offer wellness programs – and no longer are they only in the form of gym memberships. There is a plethora of options available to companies who want to create programs that work well for their employee population.

And these programs aren’t just good for employees – they are good for the businesses that implement them, too. Here are some of the reasons why it’s worthwhile to invest in employee wellness:

Attracts Top Talent

Wellness programs are no longer just a competitive advantage for companies – they’re the norm. Prospective employees actively look for these programs when comparing benefits packages, and having them in place could change the type of talent your company is able to attract. The programs subsidize health maintenance costs for employees, and, perhaps more importantly, they also show them that your company cares about them – and that matters to them.

Decreases Turnover

Not only does having a great employee wellness program in place help attract top talent, it also helps to retain it. Studies have shown that when companies care about their employees’ health by offering them opportunities for improved mental and physical wellness, workplace morale increases. Employees that are happier in the workplace and feel a greater sense of loyalty to their employers are less likely to leave, which is good for everyone. Turnover is expensive; studies have shown that the cost of turnover is generally anywhere from 16 to 21 percent of an employee’s annual salary. 

Increases Productivity

On the most basic level, when employees are mentally and physically healthier, they’re more energetic and productive.  In fact, some studies have shown that this is where your company’s employee wellness program will yield the greatest return. A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Services reported that at companies with employee wellness programs, workplace productivity increased by anywhere from 2 to 52 percent. This number definitely will vary depending on your programs and your employees, but any increase in productivity is a good thing.

Reduces Insurance Costs

A study by Harvard Business Review showed that the money spent on implementing employee wellness programs comes back to the company in the form of lower insurance costs. The U.S. Department of Health and Services reported that employee wellness programs that include physical activity of some sort reduce healthcare costs by anywhere from 20 to 55 percent, and short-term sick leave by 32 percent. Those numbers alone are enough to prove that, financially, employee wellness programs are worth the initial investment.

Gives You a PR Boost 

Beyond the internal benefits that you’ll see, offering an employee wellness program makes your company look good. It’s something you can talk about on your website, to investors, and in annual reports. The best part is, this isn’t a PR stunt that will look good to the public but do little internally. As we’ve noted, the internal benefits are clear.

As you would expect, the ROI on employee wellness programs depends on a number of factors: the research done in advance, how much a company invests in its programs, and the employees themselves, to name a few. But across the board, the tangible benefits of implementing an employee wellness program are there, and they are worthwhile.

Have you seen (or participated in) any unique or particularly cool employee wellness programs? Tell us about them! We want to spread the word. Get in touch by sending us an email, commenting below, or reaching out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.