Wellness in Workplaces

Health and Wellness in Workplaces: What Works?

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An insight into the impact of employee wellness programs

Creating a healthy workplace is not only good for managers and employees, but it could also be good for their bottom line. It helps increase productivity. To make an office environment healthy one doesn’t need a huge plan but a determination to make small things effective such as activities that promote not-sitting-all-day. Another small change one can make is to turn those email and online conversations into a one on one personal interaction.

On the other hand, companies should identify wellness champions from the management and encourage them to motivate employees. The select people will drive the success of wellness efforts by socializing with employees and helping to educate them about the programs on offer and their benefits.

Health and Wellness in Workplaces

Cigna International Markets and Asia Care Group published a report that provides an insight into the impact of employee wellness programs. The report is the largest systemic global review into the impact of workplace wellness interventions and reveals that:

  • Most wellness programs when properly designed and implemented, yield positive returns by reducing healthcare costs, absenteeism, and delivering productivity gains.
  • Mental health interventions yield the most significant ROI compared to other types of lifestyle management initiatives.
  • Wellness programs with low investment levels often achieve excellent ROI if they are well designed.
  • Strong support from middle managers is crucial to success, particularly in programs related to mental health.

Focused programs deliver the greatest impact

The report revealed, most successful wellness programs are those that have been carefully selected to tackle specific loss-drivers. As an important first step, employees’ health data should be reviewed by employers in order to identify the specific underlying drivers of ill-health or poor well being prior to designing a wellness program.

Mental health interventions yield the most significant ROI

Mental health interventions yielded high returns, with the most effective program achieving a sixty-fold return on the initial investment. Mental health-related programs include stress management coaching for employees, providing work-life balance training sessions, and meditation classes.

Middle managers play a vital role

Programs with middle management support averaged an ROI of 10x the initial investment. This is due to these individuals having the highest level of direct team management within most organizations.

Wellness programs are successful, even with limited investment

A comprehensive wellness program can be developed with a low level of investment and still yield high returns when they are well designed and supported.

The concept of workplace wellness has risen up the corporate agenda and employers recognize that investment in effective programs helps employees to be healthier and more productive.


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