5 Ways to Boost Employee Wellness (and Help You Save)
May 23, 2018
You’ve likely seen the numbers and are feeling the impact of rising healthcare costs for you and your employees. You’re not alone! Just consider:
- This year, employers are expected to spend about $10,000 per employee on healthcare coverage.
- Healthcare costs alone amount to nearly 8 percent of a company’s average annual operating budget.
So what can you do to improve wellness for your employees and lower costs for your company? Developing a workforce of healthier employees can increase employee happiness and productivity, drive down healthcare claims (which trims premiums for you and your employees) and reduce sick days. And the return on investment for employee wellness programs is as much as 6-to-1! Keep reading to learn a few helpful tips to help you build a comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees.
Encourage public transit and offer Commuter Benefits
Employee wellness is as much mental as it is physical. A recent study found that the more time people spending driving to work, the less happy they are with life in general. And that unhappiness can create all sorts of negative impacts on your business, including increased sick time.
Taking public transit can be a healthier and more cost-effective option for your employees for a number of reasons, including:
- They’ll incorporate some physical activity into their commute (for example, to get to and from the transit station).
- They’ll have time to relax and prepare for their day, catch up on the latest news, or even get a jumpstart on their workday during the ride — instead of being stuck behind the wheel.
- They’ll save as much as 40 percent on their commuting costs when they enroll in a Commuter Benefits plan.
Build wellness incentives
Creating incentives can help your employees get motivated to get healthy, which can mean more savings for you. So why not pass some of the savings you see back to them? Offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) employer contribution provides an incentive for your employees to improve their health, since the money they save through an HSA can eventually be invested if they don’t have to use it on healthcare expenses. For further incentives, consider pairing additional HSA contributions with the completion of a health-risk assessment, biometric testing or a health fair event.
Organize at-work activities
Make company wellness a part of your company culture. We’ve been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Insurance for eight consecutive years, and wellness initiatives play an important role for us in creating a healthy, fun work environment. What’s worked here?
- Fitbit incentives and challenges to keep employees moving. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?
- Healthy ways for employees to unwind during their breaks, including a variety of walking paths around our buildings and pingpong tables.
- A wellness committee that plans events and shares tips to about employee wellness.
Provide healthy snacks
Did you know that 91 percent of Americans snack multiple times per day? It’s tough to curb at-work snacking entirely but, at the very least, you can provide healthier snacking options for your employees. Offer snacks in your workplace that are high in fiber and protein and are low in sodium and sugar.
Offer standing desks
Sitting for long periods of time increases the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular issues and cancer. That’s why standing desks are growing in popularity, with 44 percent of employers providing or subsidizing them to their employees last year (up from just 13 percent four years earlier). A standing desk improves your employees’ health and improves posture.
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