With rising healthcare costs wreaking havoc on annual budgets everywhere, it’s no surprise that an ever-growing number of employers have turned to wellness programs to slap a bandage on the bleeding. While the value that these programs bring to the bottom line is undeniable, the benefits of a well-implemented wellness program go way beyond mere dollars and cents. Where these programs really shine is in building the intangibles that can make a company an awesome place to work.
Don’t believe me? Check out Fortune magazine’s latest “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. It’s no surprise that nearly all of the companies listed offer discounted gym memberships, on-site fitness centers, and assorted wellness-related perks in addition to other generous benefits. There’s no doubt that a focus on employee wellness is quickly becoming a key ingredient in building a company culture that motivates employees to bring their A-game.
That’s because so many employees out there want to be healthier. Some just don’t know how to get there, or just can’t find the time. Employers that choose to make health a priority for their organization understand this need, and send a clear message to their workforce that they care about the well-being of their employees. This goes a long way when it comes to improving morale.
By placing a clear value on employee wellness, these forward-thinking employers are able to attract top-tier talent to their organizations. What’s more, they are able to retain that talent and capitalize on the wealth of experience that veteran employees bring to the team. This in turn gives employees the opportunity to work with knowledgeable co-workers that understand the unique challenges that must be confronted. It’s no wonder that “retain, don’t retrain” is the mantra of outstanding HR professionals.
On top of that, healthy employees are proven to be more engaged. According to recent research, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202 percent. You better believe that amounts to more than chump change when those annual reports are due. Yet according to that same research, only 29 percent of the U.S. workforce is actively engaged in their work. A well-designed wellness program can not only help create healthier and happier employees, but it can also tie into other engagement triggers, and help to ensure that more of your employees go “all in” when it comes to succeeding in their chosen roles.
When we think about great places to work, we often focus on perks and benefits. While they are definitely important, they only tell part of the story. The real foundation of a company that’s great to work for is a strong company culture that unites the team for a common purpose. It’s important to stand for something more than simply increasing profits. Back when I first started this company, my main goal was to help people live healthier and happier lives. To this day, I’m a firm believer that wellness has the power to unite employees around common goals and energize them to accomplish great things together. I see it every day here at Viverae®. True, building a strong company culture grounded in purpose is not an easy thing to accomplish; however, maintaining a culture of excellence pays dividends that don’t appear on any spreadsheet, but are invaluable nonetheless.
We spend most of our adult lives working. In fact, when all the calculations are done, the average person will spend up to one-third of their lifetime at one job or another. As an employer, it’s our responsibility to make the time spent at work enjoyable for our employees. While a wellness program may seem like a luxury in a business world that’s become obsessed with cutting costs, the fact remains that these less heralded benefits of wellness programs can make all the difference when it comes to the long-term success of your business.
Michael Nadeau, Founder