Companies are like people: the same issues, the same solutions. A company that’s on a destitution route is like a person whose toxic habits accumulate. Workplace wellness is a concept whose era has come – for the individuals and for the company.
“The greatest wealth is health.” Virgil
Does it pay to stay healthy? You bet it does!
In the United States, nearly 80% of all illnesses are considered preventable. And these preventable illnesses represent 90% of all healthcare costs. In the last four years, costs for the average job-related injury claim with time-loss has increased 27%. Imagine what would happen if we took solid measures toward prevention?
Progressive organizations have discovered this already. They have implemented workplace safety programs to help employees take charge of their health and well-being.
These programs may include diet and nutrition counseling, health and fitness classes, walking programs, gym memberships, smoking cessation, stress management, tai chi, yoga, meditation, flexible work schedules, etc. They can be tailored to each organization depending on need and interest.
As a result, employers have seen a whole host of benefits, including a positive impact on their bottom line.
Research intimates that for every dollar contributed to employee wellness, businesses see an average return of $3.48 in demoted healthcare costs and $5.82 in dropped absenteeism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physically active individuals incur $865 less each year in healthcare costs than inactive people.
Rather than undermine their employees capacity to meet their own needs, workplace wellness programs enhance working conditions to support employees and thereby support the overall health of the organization.
As such, workplace wellness is not an expense but an investment. It’s a strategy for sustainability whereby improving the human condition within an organization leads to improved performance, satisfaction, retention, profitability and long-term health.
Employees who participate in workplace wellness programs experience:
Employers who offer such programs see:
You can see why a wellness program would enhance an organization’s commitment to sustainability. Sustainability means health – of the individual, of the organization, of society at large.
It’s our duty to enhance the human condition. And it’s our reward to see its impact on the bottom line. Wellness programs that succeed have to go beyond installing a “fitness area” and offering screenings. There have to be strategies that result in the most at-risk employees participating – not just the healthy employees who would work out somewhere else anyway. And screenings have to result in reduced risk (of workplace injuries for example).
As a health enthusiast and fitness fanatic for over 35 years, Dennis has been active in sports since youth and remain passionate about hiking, backpacking, and functional exercise training.
He has practiced Tai chi for the past 20 years, studying in England, Scotland and Belgium. He learned through this Taoist art all-new ways to approach and enjoys life, health, relationships and business. And I make a point to share these insights with his corporate clients.
As a chiropractor for 25 years, he has devoted career to his clients’ health and wellness. Now he does the same for forward-thinking companies who work toward health rather than try to ‘”fight” disease.
In the same way, safety and leadership training programs help each individual company sort through the issues that impact the health of their company so they can make strategic choices that have low downside risks and a high probability of success.
Through workplace wellness programs, employers are able to do this on a large scale, improving sustainability in a far more powerful way.