A 2017 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Education Trust found that 58 percent of small firms and 85 percent of large firms offer some form of wellness program to their employees. These wellness initiatives include smoking cessation, weight management, lifestyle coaching, and subsidized use of fitness facilities (gyms and the like) among others.
While great strides have been made in making employers understand the importance of wellness programs for workers, there are still many manufacturing organizations who remain reluctant, fearing the cost and effectiveness of these initiatives. If this sounds like your company, here are five reasons to buy into wellness programs.
Healthy Employees Have Lower Health Costs
A wellness program ensures that manufacturing employees stay healthy as possible the entire year, which translates to lower health costs. And lower health costs mean that both employer and employee get to save money. Wellness programs are especially beneficial when it comes to nipping chronic disease factors in the bud, reducing the risk of hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, and chronic pain among manufacturing workers.
Healthy Employees Are Productive
There’s plenty of research linking exercise with improved cognitive function (e.g. focus and memory). According to one study, employees participating in a wellness program and succeeded in improving their lifestyle and health added roughly 10 hours in additional productive time annually, saving their companies about $353 per employee per year in productivity costs.
Wellness Programs Encourage Physical Activity
This one is a no-brainer but should be pointed out anyway. Wellness programs such as subsidized gym memberships encourage physical activity and improved health. This is especially important if your manufacturing workforce spends most of their time sitting or working in front of computers.
Sedentary lifestyles have become as serious a problem as smoking. Fortunately, the solution is as simple as 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity, which is exactly what gyms can provide.
Wellness Programs Encourage Positive Behavior Changes
Lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and weight loss can be a challenge for many Americans. Wellness programs come in by providing a much-needed nudge in the right direction. Activities such as counseling (exercise and weight management) can leave a lasting positive impact on the lives of workers, empowering them to make the necessary changes to their behaviors and lifestyles.
Some states have implemented tax breaks for small businesses providing wellness programs to employees. States like Massachusetts and Indiana offer such incentives to small business owners, softening the cost of offering wellness initiatives to employees. This way, wellness is a win-win for everyone involved.
For more workforce management tips, be sure to follow this blog. If you need access to topnotch talent, talk to the staffing services experts of Top Notch Personnel.