In 2012 wellness programs gained popularity among organizations and their employees. In fact, in 2011 55% of employees saw the benefits from wellness programs. Last year that number jumped up 7% (source).
Why employees want wellness programs
There are a number of reasons why employees want wellness programs, but today we’ll mention two. First, employees have the potential of paying less insurance costs. Second, employees sometimes find a break from their daily routines to go exercise.
What programs does for employees
The latest research, conducted by Harris Interactive and released by Principal Financial Group, shows that employees who participate in wellness programs are approaching work with “more energy and motivation,” creating an environment that is more positive and productive.
There are also a number of incentives that employees use with their wellness programs. Like we mentioned before, employees may find themselves paying less for insurance, but employers offer contributions to health savings accounts or health reimbursement accounts as well. They’ll offer employees a number of gift rewards or cash prizes. Some employers are even offering more paid time off for wellness program participants.
Then there are the great added benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily think about.
“In the wake of the financial crisis, which has left many companies stretched thin, maintaining a productive workforce is a priority for organizations,” said Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group.
Wellness programs show you care
In the last year, wellness programs helped companies define themselves. From the perspective of the employee, they offer structured programs that help them maintain healthy lifestyles and give them a productive break from their desks. From the organization’s perspective, they show employees that the “higher ups” really care.
In 2013, expect the number of employees wanting wellness programs to increase. More and more companies will reap the benefits of them. They keep employees healthy, which, at the end of the day, is great for the bottom line.