Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs

Are employee wellness worth the investment and effort? The answer is Yes.

More Ashtabula County employers should be moving in this direction in the future.

A 2010 Harvard Business Review article examines the hard return to companies from these programs.

Example: Since 1995, the percentage of Johnson & Johnson employees who smoke has dropped by more than two-thirds. The number who have high blood pressure or who are physically inactive also has declined—by more than half. That’s great, obviously, but should it matter to managers? Well, it turns out that a comprehensive, strategically designed investment in employees’ social, mental, and physical health pays off. J&J’s leaders estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.

Wellness programs have often been viewed as a nice extra, not a strategic imperative. Newer evidence tells a different story. With tax incentives and grants available under recent federal health care legislation, U.S. companies can use wellness programs to chip away at their enormous health care costs, which are only rising with an aging workforce.

Download the article here: Employee Wellness Hard Return HBY 2010

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