Benefits of Corporate Health & Wellness Programs for Employees
Over the past year, due to the exacerbation of the pandemic, businesses across the world have been prompted to transform their operations, with many employees working remotely. Even as we reach herd immunity, research shows that nearly 82% of company leaders surveyed will allow employees to work remotely in some capacity after the pandemic. As this massive shift in work culture occurs, companies are going to have to evolve their benefits to meet employees where they are - whether it be in the office or at home.
Online company wellness programs are quickly becoming a popular offering for employees within the corporate world. While the goal of these programs is to improve the health of employees, the benefits have been revealed to stretch far beyond this. A body of research has shown that corporate wellness programs not only improve the lives of employees, but can improve the inner workings on the company as well. Here, we’ve compiled all of the research and benefits of online corporate wellness programs so you can demonstrate the value of these programs for your employees.
The Growth of Online Corporate Wellness Programs
In 2020, the corporate wellness market was already valued at $52.8 billion, and is only expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% each year until 2028. Online wellness programs in particular are becoming an increasingly popular offering within the corporate world, due to the benefits for both employers and employees. Last year, 71% of employers have increased their virtual wellness offerings for employees.
Fortunately, employees want online wellness programs at their worksites. A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that 59.4% of employers should attempt to improve the health of their workers. As virtual wellness becomes more commonplace, it is likely that the number of employees looking for it will increase. It would be wise for companies to stay ahead of the demands by beginning to research and implement corporate wellness programs for their employees.
For example, virtual wellness companies like Wellbeats saw exponential growth at the start of the pandemic in 2020, adding 163,000 employees to their platform. Companies offering Wellbeats to their employees saw drastic increases in the number of employees downloading the app, logging in, and logging minutes exercising. Employers cited the presence of this wellness program as a way to help employees establish a routine and stay connected while adjusting to working from home.
Benefits of Online Corporate Wellness Programs
✨ Ease of Access and Increased Flexibility for Employees
Online corporate wellness programs, unlike traditional on-site efforts, allow employees to participate when and how it is convenient for them. With programs that work for them, employees are more likely to take part in wellness offerings. Whether it be a telehealth consultation with a healthcare provider, streamed workout classes, or educational resources, employees can work through programming at their own pace, but still make progress towards positive health outcomes.
As previously mentioned, it is likely that most companies will allow a mix of remote and on-site work for their employees as we move into the next phase of the pandemic. Offering wellness benefits virtually will be crucial for giving all employees access to these benefits, regardless of where they are working from. Online wellness programs should be easily accessible for employees to leverage whether at home, on vacation, or even at the office.
✨Ability to Customize
The latest virtual wellness programs being developed have the ability to be customized for each employee who takes part. Employees can pick and choose which features of the wellness program to take advantage of, making them more inclined to participate; they will feel as though they are making the most of their experience, versus feeling forced to participate in mandatory offerings. We know that the one-size-fits-all approach does not work in healthcare, and every employee has different wellness needs; corporate wellness offerings must begin to reflect this.
By leveraging virtual programs, it’s easier for employers to offer more than one program for their employees. The number of corporate wellness programs offered at the company can have a large impact on employee satisfaction. 53% of employees said they would recommend working at their company if it offered seven to eight programs; with this many programs available, it is easier for employees to choose the one that fits best with their needs presently.
Additionally, with the shift to online corporate wellness programs, there has been an emphasis on increasing the offerings that come with each program. Many companies are looking to include virtual mental health and primary care to their packages, to keep employees safe and healthy during the pandemic. These programs are going to be increasingly able to holistically meet employees’ health needs.
✨ Increased Employee Productivity and Adaptability
Corporate wellness programs have been shown to improve employee productivity and adaptability within the workplace. Poor health behaviors are typically linked to high levels of unproductivity, due to presenteeism; If employees are working while sick, they will be less productive and put more strain on themselves, only leading to more days missed and less work accomplished. Not eating healthy and not exercising have been associated with 66% and 50% rates of presenteeism, respectively.
Thankfully, corporate wellness programs can significantly improve both employee health and productivity. Studies have shown that when employee wellness services are implemented, employees save their companies about $353 per employee per year. When employees are feeling their best, and know their employers care about their health, they are bound to accomplish more each work day. Additionally, employees who experience high levels of well-being are 45% more likely than other employees to adapt to change in the workplace. Being able to adapt to different situations in the workplace can save time and effort for both employees and employers in the long run, by decreasing the time needed to train employees in new workflows and in new situations.
Corporate wellness programs offer an impressive ROI for employees; for every dollar invested in health intervention, employees recouped between $1.40 in avoided medical costs. Employers subsequently save money on health insurance costs for their employees. Corporate wellness may actually boost your company’s market valuation as well. Prior and ongoing research shows a higher market valuation of “socially responsible” companies that invest in the health and well-being of their workers, in comparison with other public companies.
Using Healthie to Diffuse Corporate Wellness Programs for Employees
Healthie enables corporate wellness providers, and the companies they partner with, to streamline program processes, deliver on-site & virtual counseling to employees alike, offer expanded nutritional care programs, and track health outcomes. Healthie reduces the administrative time of corporate wellness professionals by over 40%, and enables real-time communication within an organization and with clients.
Healthie’s centralized web & mobile platform designed specifically for nutritional care enables corporate wellness organizations to:
- Deliver wellness programs automatically (videos, courses, surveys, e-mails)
- Engage directly with employees in one-on-one or group, in-person or virtual formats
- Bolster ongoing communication: message with employees to provide advice & recommendations, share information on upcoming events
- Track outcomes and metrics from wellness programs
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