Why Should I Implement a Workplace Health and Wellness Program?
Article revised on 19 June 2017
The benefits of a workplace health and wellness program include improving the health and well-being of employees, enhancing the workplace environment, facilitating talent recruitment and enhancing productivity.
The figures don’t lie:
- Each day, 500,000 Canadians take time off work because of mental illness.
- A diabetic employee misses an average of 8.3 days of work per year versus the 1.7 days a healthy employee is absent.
- Smokers each cost their employer as much as $4,200 a year more than non-smokers due to lost productivity and absenteeism.
In short, the ill health of employees can affect a company’s bottom line. The consequences include disability management expenses, costs of replacing disabled workers, etc.
The implementation of a health and wellness program is therefore an interesting option to consider. A few facts that support the relevance of such a program:
- A physically active employee is productive all day long with a productivity level that is 12% higher than that of sedentary employees.
- Walking for 30 minutes or jogging for 15 minutes is enough to reduce stress levels due to the hormones that are released after these activities.
- For every dollar invested in a health and wellness program, there is a $2 – $4 return on investment.
What does a health and wellness program consist of?
A good workplace health and wellness program should focus on four spheres of intervention:
1- Work environment (adequate computer equipment, facilities for workers [appliances, showers, etc.], workload)
2- Work/life balance (flexible work schedules, leave for family obligations)
3- Management practices (internal communications, team activities, onboarding)
4- Lifestyle (promotion of physical activity and healthy diet)
Where to start?
When implementing your program, make sure you follow these 5 steps:
1- Obtain commitment from senior management
2- Form a health and wellness committee
3- Determine the status of the situation (collect data about your organization)
4- Prepare your plan, then get it up and running
5- Evaluate the program implemented and make changes as needed
Source: The Healthy Enterprises Group www.groupeentrepriseensante.com
The Viva Workplace health and wellness program is a turnkey program that’s specially designed to meet employers’ needs with regard to health and wellness promotion and prevention.