Profits From Wellness

Profits From Wellness

In case you were wondering about why as an employer you should care about the healthy habits of your employees, here’s some hard data from multinational manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, one of the biggest pharmaceutical and consumer goods producers in the world. When the company looked at the impact its employee wellness programs created over a roughly six-year period, leaders noted roughly $250 million was saved on healthcare costs. Their return was about $2.71 for every dollar spent.

Setting aside the compassionate reasons for encouraging healthy lifestyles, one can’t argue with the fact that a 2.17 rate of return would be a solid investment option for most businesses. Given so much reporting about America’s aging workforce, this has likely become a bigger priority for many companies than ever before.

For employers who are new to promoting wellness among their staff, you should know reversing unhealthy trends doesn’t have to be costly or daunting. In fact, there’s a lot of simple ways to start kicking unhealthy habits that will all produce outstanding results. Let’s take a look.

Lead by Example (Literally)

If you want your employees to commit to being healthier, you’re going to have to join their quest. Lead by example – in fact, do so literally. Why do your meetings have to take place seated around a table? Why not take the opportunity to go for a stroll? Get outside, walk through your warehouse, examine your campus, whatever works. Use the opportunity to get out of the conference room and look over your facilities while you burn a few calories and get some activity.

Fact: Sitting all day is linked to “premature death” for numerous adverse health reasons according medical organizations like the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and others. What more do you need to know? Get up and move!

Stop Buying Doughnuts

Buying doughnuts or other treats as a nice gesture for your employees is a classic way to show them your appreciation, but it’s not doing their waistlines any favors. It’s time to ditch the sugar and switch to foods that can actually boost the body and your company’s productivity in turn. If you’re not sure about what kind of healthy snacks your team likes, ask them what they enjoy.

For stubborn employees who don’t want to make the switch from sugary to healthy foods, an effective strategy to get them to change is to provide healthy foods for free. It’s hard to refuse snacks that are both free and healthy, and you’ll be providing the kind of fuel that will energize your teem more effectively.

On a related note, stop selling liquid candy out of your vending machines. Soda’s effects are temporary and lead to drag later in the day, slowing your company down. Choose water.


Want to make a small investment that could have a big payoff? Take the time to educate your employees about healthier choices.

Don’t set it up like some kind of boring lecture or seminar about what a person should or shouldn’t do. Make it more interactive and collaborative by getting a little creative. Why not share recipes and make healthy lunches together? Have some fun with it. Exercise together, do yoga, share best practices, share ideas – there’s options for every type of company. All you have to do is foster an environment that encourages healthy habits and enable your people to act upon them. It will result in a healthier workforce and, who knows, maybe you’ll even see improvements in the relationships and team-oriented thinking among your employees.

You could take this concept a step further by providing formal lessons from an expert, perhaps a nutritionist, a yoga or aerobics instructor, a health coach, or others. Remember you could see a 2.17 return on healthy investments like this, so it could be very worth your while.

Butt Out

Do you think the coaches of a major sports team would condone cigarette smoking among their top players? Should you tolerate it among your employees?

A little over one in four Hoosiers smoke cigarettes, ranking us fifth from the highest in the nation for our smoking rate. Do you want to know what it’s costing companies? A lot.

“Indiana employers are heavily burdened by tobacco use in Indiana. Average annual healthcare costs due to tobacco use total an estimated $2.9 billion, and tobacco use costs Hoosiers an additional $3.2 billion in lost productivity,” according to the Indiana Department of Health.

You know what’s cheap? Getting your people off of tobacco. In some cases it can actually be profitable, saving your company money on insurance premiums and way more. The American Lung Association estimates “employers can save nearly $6,000 per year for every employee who quits smoking.” You could even pay your employees to quit and still likely save money. Think about it.

Whatever wellness concepts you choose to apply to your company, commit to them. These are more than just workplace changes, they’re lifestyle changes that could have a big impact on the culture of your company. Employees are your best assets. Preserve and protect them like you would all your other assets by investing in their care and longevity.

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Category Features, Health