Weekly Editorial

Resources for Workplace Wellness

Written By Rob Kirkbride, Editor-in-chief, OI Publications • November 20, 2023

The Insider_Weekly_Editorial Section_11.20.23_FINAL

Workplace wellness is a huge cost for small business owners, but should be of huge importance as well. I think everyone can agree that healthcare costs are significant. They’re simultaneously critical to employee life and a major threat to an organization’s profits.

In 2022, small businesses spent $6,584 per year for a single-worker health plan and $16,357 for family coverage, on average. Workers contributed an average of $1,327 and $6,106 per year for individual and family plans, respectively.

Among the leading physical and mental health conditions in terms of direct medical costs and lost productivity to U.S. employers are several chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease), depression, and musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., back pain), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With workers in America today spending more than one-third of their day on the job, employers are in a unique position to promote the health and safety of their employees. The use of effective workplace health programs and policies can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for 138 million workers in the United States.

And while we can all agree that helping keep employees healthy costs a lot, in a study done on the ROI of employee wellness programs, Harvard researchers conclude that, on average, for every dollar spent on employee wellness, medical costs fall $3.27 and absenteeism drops $2.73 — a 6-to-1 return on investment.

If you are new to providing an employee wellness program, it is important to remember that success will not happen overnight, but if you invest in a configurable, results-driven employee wellness program that is right for your company’s workforce, goals and needs, and devote time to communicating clearly and regularly about the program, there are many long-term benefits. The benefits include a reduction in costs related to health and presenteeism, number of employee absences, length of time employees are away from work and the cost of sick pay.

At the same time, employers can expect an increase in engagement, productivity, retention, motivation and customer relations. You might question that last one, but believe me, customers recognize companies that care for their employees. It shows.

Here are some resources as you explore and health and wellness programs for your company:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — This is a good place to start. This governmental agency is responsible for keeping the U.S. healthy and it has a lot of general information about health and wellness programs in the workplace.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — This agency has good resources, especially for mental health programs, which should not be overlooked when designing a comprehensive program.

Society for Human Resource Management — The SHRM has an impressive toolkit for employers on its website. According to the organization, a wellness program should speak to all interests and concerns of employees and be clearly aligned with corporate goals.

Mental Health America — This group is devoted to mental health and has resources available for any employer who wants to learn more about the benefits of mental health programs in the workplace.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — If you are looking for examples of how health and wellness programs work, look no further than the examples found here.

INDEAL Cares — If you’d like specific help with a health and wellness program designed for companies in our industry, look to INDEAL Cares. INDEAL Cares has resources to help you design and implement a program of your own.

It’s never too late to get started with a health and wellness program for your employees. Use the links above to begin your journey now.

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

Join 15K+ industry professionals who receive The Insider each week