Wondering if a workplace wellness program program will be worth the investment? Or questioning if your current workplace wellness program is providing the benefits and ROI you need? Good news for those with workplace wellness programs — and an impetus for those who are considering implementing one: a recent study found that Pepsi’s workplace wellness program cut company heath care costs and reduce the frequency of employee hospital admissions.
Researchers studied Pepsi’s “Healthy Living” workplace wellness program for 7 years, assessing the experiences of over 67,000 employees who were eligible for the disease- and lifestyle-management components. Overall, the study found that Pepsi’s workplace wellness program saved the company $3.78 in health care costs for every $1 invested.
Published in January’s Health Affairs, the study not only reinforces the importance of workplace wellness programs, but also reveals what aspects of health and wellness these programs should focus on. Here are some hallmarks of effective workplace wellness programs that can be gleaned from the study.
Components of Effective Workplace Wellness Programs
The study showed that any successful workplace wellness program should include a disease-management component, as this portion alone yielded a $136 reduction in costs per month, plus a 29% drop in hospital admissions. For employees managing a chronic illness like heart disease or diabetes, these disease-management programs could result in improved wellness overall and help the company and employee save costs.
While Pepsi’s lifestyle-management program did lead participants to miss work less often, it didn’t have a big impact on reducing health care costs. But the research did show that disease-management program participants had higher savings ($160 per month) and reduced hospital admissions (down 66%) when they also participated in the lifestyle management portion of the workplace wellness program. This suggests that a successful workplace wellness program will include a lifestyle-management component, but to be most effective, it should be coupled with disease-management as well.
Get Help With Your Workplace Wellness Program
If you want help with developing, implementing, or updating your workplace wellness program, your local Test Smartly Labs may be able to help. Many of our nationwide locations offer workplace wellness assistance — find the Test Smartly Labs near you to get started!