Worker wellness initiatives improve operational health

The findings from a national American survey have revealed that nearly nine out of 10 organisations (87 percent) have tangibly felt the benefits of worksite wellness
 9 out of 10 organisations have tangibly felt the benefi..

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The States of Wellness survey polled over 400 human resource professionals earlier this year from across America, combined with localised regional analysis covering Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota and Hawaii.

Summarising the survey, Tom Mason, President of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, which oversaw the project, said:

“Employers are realising that wellness initiatives represent a solid business strategy with a myriad of benefits. It wasn’t that long ago when a business might dismiss wellness as having an unproven ROI or being beyond its administrative capacity.

Although “costs” continue to top their concerns regarding the health of employees (84 percent), employers perceive other important values of worksite wellness; decreased productivity (73 percent), absenteeism (70 percent), and reduction of workers’ compensation or disability claims (58 percent).”

Healthy employee behaviour is already on employer’s radars

They ranked obesity (52 percent), stress/mental health (51 percent), and lack of exercise/fitness (51 percent) as their top three choices in health challenges facing employees

Almost 70 percent believe that larger investments in wellness help curb healthcare costs

Employers overwhelmingly agree that worksite wellness initiatives help workers develop healthier lifestyles (96 percent); increase productivity (84 percent), lower healthcare costs (84 percent), and reduce absenteeism (79 percent).

Many employers are already committed to workplace wellness initiatives

Led by government (83 percent) and publicly owned for-profit companies (75 percent), more than half of American employers say they have already initiated worksite wellness initiatives

Their primary object is to improve the overall health of employees and reduce employee healthcare costs

Employers want to demonstrate a return on their investment in wellness

While 84 percent of employers place high value on measuring ROI related to wellness, less than half those with such initiatives actually do it

Some employers are wary of worksite wellness activities

Those who have not begun worksite wellness programs are most worried about cost (65 percent), low potential participation (59 percent), and lack of time necessary to implement the program adequately (54 percent)

Employers value government involvement in worksite wellness

85 percent said that state and local government should maintain (38 percent) or increase (47 percent) involvement in worksite wellness

79 percent said that the Federal government should maintain (40 percent) or increase (39 percent) that involvement

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