High rates of employee turnover and the costs of sick days are increasingly taking bites into corporate profits. The high cost of recruitment programs only adds to the challenges that these problems in total cost the average company. Many companies are finding the solution to these challenges by increasing job satisfaction, team building, and the implementation of programs that yield a reduction in these costs.
It has become increasingly clear to most managers that a well designed wellness/fitness program with a strong nutritional and fitness lifestyle emphasis will directly meet this need. Management’s goals for a productive wellness program must be viewed through the perspective of increased employee productivity, decreased absenteeism due to health related causes, improved employee morale, decreased utilisation of employer subsidised health benefits, enhanced team cohesion and effectiveness and a decrease in turnover due to lack of job satisfaction. It is obvious that an improvement in any of these areas will have a positive impact on the financial status of any organisation.
The benefits from an employees point of view can be seen in improved health, increased energy levels, decreased body fat, a more youthful fit body, an increased ability to handle job related stress, greater feelings of confidence and morale and more social connections at work contributing to greater feelings of satisfaction with their work and workplace.
To be most productive a wellness program needs to achieve both managements and employees goals, and this can be accomplished through a program that will provide the individual employee with an awareness of their current physical condition and attitudes to fitness and wellbeing, and the benefits of attaining a fitter, healthier lifestyle, and a plan that will allow them to achieve the necessary changes to their physical condition that can be applied in the context of their life and work.
The Bottom Line – Corporate Wellness Programs
Reduced Absenteeism – Dupont reduced absenteeism by 47.5% over six years for the participants of their corporate fitness program, (Health Behaviour, March 1992).
Reduced Health Care Costs – Steel case showed a reduction in medical claim costs of 55% for corporate fitness program participants over non-participants over a six year period – an average of $478.61 for participants vs. non-participants who averaged $868.88, (The Am. Journal of Health Promotion, Sept/Oct, 1991).
Reduced Turnover – Turnover among fitness program participants at the Canadian Life Assurance Company was 32.4% lower over a seven year period compared with non-participants (Canadian Journal of Public Health, Jan/Feb, 1988).
Positive Return on Investment – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Indiana found that its corporate fitness program had a 250% return on investment; $2.51 for every $1 invested over a five year period (American Journal of Health Promotion, March, April, 1991).
Where to Begin – Corporate Wellness Solutions
The purpose of this paper is to propose that an organisation-specific program, which has been tailored to the company profile, can be developed for any corporation or workplace.
The mark of a good corporate wellness program is one where, specific wellness/fitness programs can be adapted towards the available resources of the organisation. Whether the organisation has on site facilities, or will need to find facilities, or will use the facilities provided at the centre a good fitness program can help to equip an on site facility, provide personal trainers to man an on site facility or create a unique corporate membership plan to suit your business.
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