Gym memberships. Yoga classes. Weight loss competitions. Support groups for smokers wanting to quit.

If you’re looking for ways to increase employee productivity and create a more health-minded corporate culture, you may want to consider the impact of those types of initiatives. As business leaders, we tend to focus our attention on strategic ways to grow our businesses. We look at external forces that affect customer acquisition. But we don’t always look at internal forces and the financial impact they are having on our bottom line. For example, how is employee absenteeism affecting productivity? How are training costs associated with employee turnover impacting your go-to-market resources?

For established businesses with more 10 employees, corporate wellness programs have been shown to improve employee health, reduce illness-related downtime and mitigate healthcare costs. A recent study by Brigham Young University found that businesses saved $3.27 for every dollar they spent on employee wellness.

Not surprisingly, corporate wellness programs have seen broader acceptance nationally as an effective — and proven — mechanism for saving money for both the employee and employer. Today, we’d love to spend a little more time examining the benefits of a corporate wellness program. Is it a good financial decision for every business? No. You need to examine your resources and allocate resources appropriately based on available capital and recurring revenue. However, we’d like to provide some insight on how a corporate wellness program could become part of your strategic plan for the future. So here’s a quick look at the cultural and financial impacts a corporate wellness program could have on your business.

Reduce sick leave and improve morale. Nurturing happiness among employees can pay dividends on multiple fronts. In general, an employee that enjoys exercise time with a co-worker will make time to do it, cutting down on costly sick days. A study published in Health Affairs suggests that employers save $2.73 for every dollar spent on wellness through decreased employee absenteeism. And that doesn’t calculate the financial gains that come through long-term employee retention. Happy employees tend to remain in their positions longer, reducing turnover and training costs. Over time, wellness programs have a direct correlation to increased production since healthier, more energetic employees also benefit from better concentration.

Cut down on claims and overall healthcare costs. Wellness programs have proven to produce healthier, more engaged employees. But they have also been shown to reduce an employer’s up-front premiums for healthcare coverage as risk factors such as weight, high blood pressure and tobacco use decrease. Employees who take a proactive approach to their health and fitness will tend to file fewer health insurance claims or disability claims, which represents a significant annual savings.

Minimize acute and chronic health conditions. Most wellness programs go beyond a focus on medical help to offer nutritional advice and exercise regimens designed to reduce stress. The result is fewer strokes, heart attacks and cases of diabetes. Long-term, a fitter staff also makes for fewer cases of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and other chronic conditions.

Across the board, whether measuring from a morale or financial metric, corporate wellness programs have proven to improve productivity and job satisfaction. It can become a win-win for the employer and employee. If you need guidance on this, or other business management-related matters, don’t hesitate to call: (443) 842-5900. We would love to help.