Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bottom Line Impact of Wellness Programs

I read an article, Healthy Returns from Wellness Programs, and was inspired. Having worked at three major companies that had on-site gyms and health and wellness programs - Honda, Enron, Siebel - I've been a big believer in such programs as a means of keeping employee health expenses at a minimum. The smaller companies (i.e., non-Fortune 500 like the companies I mentioned were) interviewed in these articles measure and quantify the positive impact on their respective bottom line. Here's an excerpt I particularly liked:


The sweating and the checkups pay off: indeed, Hunziger can quantify the benefits. Lincoln's wellness program saves the company some $2 million a year, he estimates, with about half of that coming from lower-than-average health-insurance costs. (Lincoln is consistently about $3,000 below the national per-employee average.) A big part of the balance comes from the reductions in workers' comp insurance rates that have occurred as the program has taken off over the past seven years, and from an estimated $4,000 savings per year per employee who quits smoking. Below-average absenteeism and turnover also contribute to the savings.

All told, Lincoln reaps "a 5-to-1 ROI" on its wellness program, says Hunziger. That includes the costs of employing a wellness staff, various incentives, and activities like the mountain climb with the CEO, which is a reward for employees who achieve a certain level of fitness.


To read the entire article and get more details, read the article Healthy Returns from Wellness Programs in its entirety.

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