Bluegrass Doctors of
Physical Therapy, PLLC
|Posted on June 29, 2016 at 11:10 AM|
Employee Satisfaction Linked to Wellness Programs
The prevalence of wellness programs in today’s work environment was examined in the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report, an online survey of more than 1,800 benefits decision-makers and more than 6,100 U.S. workers. The study included findings about the impact of wellness programs on employee satisfaction, well-being and productivity. Compared to workers who are not offered wellness programs, employees who are offered wellness programs and participate in them are more likely to have a higher level of job satisfaction, feel happier with their employer, and be more satisfied with their overall benefits.
The bottom line is that companies can help increase employee satisfaction by focusing on the well-being of their workforce. For example, 28 percent of workers said they would feel more satisfied and more loyal to their employer if their company offered more options to improve their health and lifestyle. Workers also recognize the fact that they need to take an active role in workplace wellness. Thirty-five percent of employees were willing to change their lifestyle habits if it meant they could lower their health insurance premiums.
Financial Benefits of Implementing Wellness Programs
While companies certainly care about the well-being of their employees, benefits decision-makers admit that a primary reason their company maintains a wellness program is to help curb health care costs, and 59 percent of companies agree that wellness programs can help reduce these costs.
Despite the benefits of wellness program, nearly a quarter (22 percent) of companies do not offer them for their workforce due to the difficulty in quantifying the return-on-investment (ROI). However, a comprehensive analysis of 42 published studies of worksite health promotion programs showed that companies that implemented an effective wellness program realized significant cost reductions and financial gains, including:
· An average of 28 percent reduction in sick days
· An average of 26 percent reduction in health costs
· An average of 30 percent reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management claims
· An average $5.93 to $1 savings-to-cost ratio.
The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report found similar results. Nearly all (92 percent) of the companies with a wellness program in place agreed that these programs are effective, and 47 percent reported the programs are very or extremely effective. In addition, 44 percent of employers agree they are able to offer lower health insurance premiums as a result of their wellness program, and six in 10 (61 percent) agree they have a healthier workforce as a result of having a wellness program in place.
Recognizing the Role Financial Stress Plays in Overall Health
Creating a healthy workforce requires more than physical health. Financial security is another factor that influences overall wellness. Many American workers today are facing financial predicaments and high debt as a result of the current economy and a lack of education about financial principles. These situations can lead workers to enormous amounts of stress which in turn can lessen overall wellness.
For instance, only eight percent of workers strongly agree that their family will be financially prepared in the event of an unexpected emergency, while 51 percent are trying to reduce debt. Nearly six in 10 workers (58 percent) don’t have a financial plan in place to handle the unexpected, and the same amount either don’t consider health insurance a part of their financial plan or consider it a minor part. Clearly, many Americans are in a difficult financial position and that often means turning to their employer for help.
Workers facing debt and unstable financial situations reported their stress has caused occurrences of ulcers, digestive problems, migraines, anxiety and depression. Results even showed heart attacks occurred at rates between two and three times the national average for these overstressed workers.
As a result, employers are also feeling the effects of their employees’ anxiety, beyond higher health care costs. One in five (20 percent) workers have experienced a health issue that has affected their ability to get their work done, which can result in higher productivity losses for companies. Additionally, nearly half of companies (43 percent) surveyed estimated their average productivity loss stemming from employees’ concern over personal issues is between 11 and 30 percent, and productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee, per year, or $225.8 billion annually.
These statistics show the negative impact companies face if their workers are not adequately protected by their current benefits coverage. Voluntary benefits options are beneficial because they allow businesses to add coverage options at no direct cost to their company and, at the same time, help protect workers.
By making voluntary plans available to workers, companies can help alleviate financial concern and help employees feel more protected in case of an unexpected health event. Workers have more positive feelings about their benefits options when they are offered or enrolled in voluntary plans. For instance, 70 percent of employees whose benefit packages include voluntary options feel that a comprehensive benefits package safeguards their health and wellness