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Finding the ROI in Employee Wellness Programs

Companies with a commitment to employee wellness see increased retention rates, less absenteeism and improvement in morale, performance and customer service.

Achieving your bottom-line wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of your sales reps, right? Therefore, the logical conclusion is to create an office environment that cultivates the work ethic you need to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty and meet your department’s goals. In Forbes contributor Judy Martin’s article, “Challenge 2013: Linking Employee Wellness, Morale and the Bottom-Line,” she reflected on how employee health — physical, mental and financial  — plays a key role in their work satisfaction. According to Martin, the ROI on employee wellness programs should not be overlooked.

In her research, Martin found that employees who feel cared for by their employers, both inside and outside of the office, are generally happier. Companies with a commitment to employee wellness see increased retention rates, less absenteeism and improvement in morale, performance and customer service.

Martin cited a study by Virgin HealthMiles Inc. — an arm of Virgin Group, Ltd. that focuses on workplace health engagement — that found 77 percent of employees believe “health and wellness programs positively impact the culture at work.” Not only did the survey discover that employees want to work for companies that nurture employee health, but it also found that there is a significant connection between employee wellness and a company’s overall success.

Employee wellness plays a role in company culture, a topic we at AtF have explored time and time again. Chris Boyce, the CEO at HealthMiles, told Martin, “Creating a culture-first mentality is a critical step for employers when it comes to building a highly engaged workforce.” According to Boyce, this includes “physical, financial and social health.”

Despite the clear link between employee wellness and an organization’s success, the HealthMiles survey also found that only 31 percent of companies are “satisfied with their health and wellness metrics.” Even if employees work for organizations with wellness programs, just over half of them don’t understand the program or how to participate.

Moreover, it’s not easy to decipher the ROI of such programs, ultimately making them a hard sell, even when management recognizes the correlation between employee wellness and their bottom-line. After all, determining the affect of employee satisfaction on revenue is a hard metric to nail down, since it relies on determining human behaviors, which are complex and nuanced.

However, there are some statistics that are simply undeniable. Martin offered the example of the four winners of the 2013 American Psychological Association’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. These companies averaged a 6 percent turnover rate in 2012, whereas the national rate stood at 38 percent.

Additionally, HealthMiles found that 87 percent of employees take wellness programs into consideration during their job search and when choosing their employer. If you’re serious about developing a team of hardworking and successful reps in order to meet your department’s bottom-line, then it’s time to start advocating on behalf of employee wellness programs and resources.