Why Companies Should Care About Employees' Weight
An increasing number of U.S. workers surveyed said they've gained weight in their current jobs, and professional and business services employees and IT workers are at the top of the list for packing on the pounds, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. For organizations, the fallout is immense: Workers dealing with obesity and other serious health issues cost companies more than $73 billion a year. By helping overweight employees lose weight, companies can save an average of nearly 10 percent on health care costs and productivity that's lost due to sick time. As a result, nearly one-half of organizations are considering giving their employees direct cash rewards for losing weight and/or reaching other health-related goals—up from 14 percent in 2010. "The health of a company's workforce is a paramount issue for many employers, as neglecting it can significantly dampen workplace morale and productivity," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "There's a clear incentive to make wellness and work-life balance a focus of organizational culture, and we're encouraged to see many companies making them a priority year after year." More than 3,100 employees took part in the research.