6 Reasons Slashing Employee Wellness Does Not Save Money

Caring about the health of your employees isn’t just about offering affordable health insurance. When their mental, emotional, and physical well-being is fully in check, employers can expect a more active and dedicated employee. What’s more, when organizations invest in the overall health of their workers with improved employee wellness packages, health care costs per employee will be much less.

It’s true.

But it’s a truth some companies still struggle with.

According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), for every dollar a business invests in an employee’s health, they get six dollars back. For employers thinking that cutting back on the quality of the healthcare they offer will save them money, these statistics prove that actually giving employees more is where the savings are.

To shed more light on this, here’s a closer look at three pros of giving your employees more in a healthcare plan versus three cons of cutting back on your current employee wellness program.

6 Reasons Slashing Employee Wellness Does Not Save Money

The Pros of Improving Your Employee Wellness Program

1. Improved Work Culture

When Harvard conducted a study with workers that asked about salary and employee benefits, the results overwhelmingly showed that employees would rather take a lower paying job with excellent benefits over a higher paying job with mediocre benefits.

Some of these benefits include yoga classes, high-quality catered food, gym memberships, and chair massages. The results were happier employees who recognized that they were appreciated. And it’s no secret that when employees feel appreciated they work harder, better, and faster. With appreciation comes an overall improved work culture, too, filled with positive energy and happy people.

2. Unique Packages Win

Gone are the days of the standard health insurance package. Today, unique employee wellness packages are taking the cake.

When employees offer health and wellness packages that are unique and cater to individual needs, workers are more apt to stay dedicated to the company. This is because the perks are considered desirable, and far outweigh what other jobs may have to offer. Some of these unique perks don’t have to cost the company thousands to incorporate, either. Flexible hours and work-from-home options top the list when it comes to unique perks in a wellness package.

Even if the proposed salary for the job is lower, the individuality and flexibility of the package is preferred. Basically, if the individual recognizes that they will be cared for uniquely, they will view that company as radical, and take the job with a better sense of security.

6 Reasons Slashing Employee Wellness Does Not Save Money3. Preventative Care

When gym memberships began to show up as part of healthcare packages over a decade ago, employees were given the opportunity to contribute to their physical and mental health without any additional cost on their part. For many employees, it was an option they couldn’t afford prior.

This kind of preventative care proved extremely beneficial, as employees were able to maintain their weight and physical health, which ultimately helped them improve their overall well-being. In one study conducted by a pair of U.S. doctors, employees at an unnamed organization were given cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training for six months. The results were stunning. Not only did their overall health improve by 57%, but the organization saved $1,421 in healthcare costs per participant.

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The Cons of Cutting Employee Wellness

1. Increased Insurance Claims

The more sick or injured employees you have, the more insurance claims you have to file. What’s more, when employees call out for a day or are on leave for more than a week, costs increase to bring in additional employees to fill in. The paperwork also increases costs in the HR department, as does training for the new employee.

If organizations took the time to focus more on improving overall health instead of prevention, insurance costs would decrease dramatically. Per an article published by Entrepreneur, a U.S. company that instated a wellness program to avoid regular claims saved just over $1 million dollars after the first year.

2. Your Employees Won’t Give You Their All

After researchers in the UK conducted a study on overall employee health and well-being, it was determined that employees who take more sick time actually cost organizations almost 28 working days a year. That’s an entire month of lost productivity. And when productivity wanes, so does interest in the job.

Without incentive to improve their health, taking more sick time and accumulating more doctors visits is the only alternative for the worker. And, if there isn’t the improvement in how their health can be addressed, employees are less apt to give back to the company.

3. Lower Quality Candidates

When people look for work, one of the things they look for is a good health care package. While salary is important, finding quality healthcare is equally important. If an organization brings in a worker who settles for second-class insurance, that company may find the new worker seeking a better opportunity under the radar. An employee seeking opportunity elsewhere isn’t the most ideal candidate. The result is constant turnover that can be costly and time-consuming.

At first glance, spending more for improved programs doesn’t calculate for some, thus the reason so many employers resist upgrading healthcare packages to include wellness programs. But the proof is in the pudding, and as more and more organizations implement these programs, the more data is gathered for consideration.

6 Reasons Slashing Employee Wellness Does Not Save MoneyWhat Does Employee Wellness Mean to Your Company?

To use a popular analogy, your workforce is like a well-oiled machine. Every worker is a cog in that machine. If those cogs get rusty or fall out of place, the machine slows down. But if you oil the machine with premium oil, the results will constantly be a motor that purrs. The same holds true for your employees.

Many organizations are working hard to create a culture that brings employees together in a capacity that helps nurture the team and improve relationships. Known as team building, this process can vastly improve socialization and work ethic. Walking events, for example, structured around wellness, health, fitness, can up the ante for companies and their employees.

Many companies do racing events, step-tracking events, and even the Whole Life Challenge as part of their employee wellness programs. So, if there are limitations on what your organization can offer as far as health insurance, incorporating team building events like these can still make a huge difference in the overall well-being of your people.

Give your employees the best. Show that you care. A healthy workforce with an even healthier mindset will only serve your organization in the long run.

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Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca is a bit like a cat — she’s gone through a few “lives” to get to her current one (with which she’s quite pleased). She earned her MFA in Cinema-Television Production at USC’s famed film school, and her first career was as a music editor (if you’ve watched Scrubs, you’ve likely heard her work).

Becca found her way to career number two through martial arts. She began training in BJJ and muay Thai and started working with professional MMA fighters, building websites, working on fight promotions, and producing videos.

As a competitor in BJJ herself, Becca wanted to get stronger and fitter. In 2005, she became a student at CrossFit Los Angeles where she met WLC co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck. In only a couple years, she became CrossFit Level III Certified, left her entertainment career, and dedicated herself full time to coaching, serving as the Program Director of CFLA and founder of the CFLA CrossFit Kids program.

After seven years as a music editor and then eight years as fitness instructor, Becca segued to her current career — full-time editor and writer. She and her husband are full-time RVers and have a first-hand comprehension of the pros and cons of remote work.