From the Affordable Care Act to the World Economic Forum’s Workplace Wellness Alliance, laws and organizations are placing increasing emphasis on the importance of workplace wellness, for both long-term employee and corporate health.
When more than 50 percent of the working population spends the majority of their time at work , the office is a natural place to start and/or maintain healthy behaviors that will translate into better productivity and, ultimately, better living.
And employees are expecting companies to invest in their wellness. A recent survey of employees across multiple types of businesses found that a significant majority, 87 percent, consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer. Today, health and wellness is a mandatory part of a company’s corporate social responsibility, both as a promoter for employee health and as a means to achieve business goals.
- Workplace wellness programs can generate medical cost savings of about US $3.27 and absenteeism-related savings of about US $2.73 for every dollar invested.
- Programs that contain fitness components have reduced employer healthcare costs by 20-55 percent.
- By reducing just one health risk factor, a person’s productivity on the job increases by nine percent, and absenteeism is reduced by two percent.
As with all priorities, the workplace wellness landscape and opportunities constantly evolve and this year, Well-Connected, Ketchum’s brand-building specialty that combines consumer marketing best practices with health and wellness insights, mined for the trends in the space. The latest Well-th report, “Branding Wellness in the Workplace,” digs into growing trends and outlines how brands and companies can leverage this growing health sector, regardless of whether they compete in a health-related industry.
Gaming and social networking are not subjects relegated to people’s personal lives, but activities and means of engagement that employers can utilize to motivate their workforce and help improve wellness. These are some of the trends that Well-th covers this year, as well as advice on how companies can turn information and platforms into action such as:
- Identify ways to integrate with or establish workplace wellness solutions that fit within the wellness needs of organizations.
- Determine how to partner with smaller companies that carry a larger cost burden to provide simple wellness solutions.
- Look at core attributes and pinpoint how to be part of a holistic solution. Just because a company is not a traditional health and wellness brand does not mean it can’t provide health and wellness benefits.
To deliver on these employee expectations and realize potential health and cost savings, take a moment to look at your corporate wellness initiatives and identify ways to enhance them and make them compelling for today’s employees.
Click here to access the 2013 Well-th Report.
 The Workplace Wellness Alliance. Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and The Power of Metrics. In collaboration with FTI Consulting. January 2013. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_HE_WorkplaceWellnessAlliance_Report_2013.pdf
 Workplace wellness: A $300 billion productivity crisis. Chris Boyce, CEO of Framingham-based Virgin HealthMiles, a company of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. http://www.boston.com/business/blogs/global-business-hub/2013/08/workplace_welln.html