70% of U.S. employers offer wellness benefits, such as flu shots, health screenings and weight management programs.
A healthy workforce is often a happier and more productive one, and companies are getting the message that investing in employee health can lead to the well-being of the entire organization. Many companies are seeing tangible benefits from implementing health and wellness programs, and many more plan to do so, according to a new survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. And it's not just productivity that's affected. These initiatives are helping cut corporate health care costs. But employers beware: These programs don't create instant payoffs. However, organizations that stick with them will see benefits in the long run. "Determining ROI can be of great benefit for employers, leading to increased buy-in from organization leaders and workers," says Julie Stich, a senior information/research specialist at the foundation. "However, ROI can be difficult to measure. Health improvements may be influenced by a combination of factors, and it takes an average of three years to see cost-saving results." More than 640 benefits/HR professionals, financial managers and other executives took part in the research.
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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