Monday, May 2, 2011

WorkPlace Wellness

Something I have been working on for a long time, and currently writing on as part of an upcoming book, is Workplace Wellness (WW). WW is really about looking after the health and wellbeing of the workers and the research shows it pays off for employers. The cost of poor health on personal and professional productivity is high and includes stress, absenteeism, presenteeism, low morale, low productivity, poor concentration and focus, low output, and risks increase sick leave, disability and more.

Many factors influence employee productivity; the list includes family issues, work environment, relations with other employees, autonomy, perceived control and health. However it is possible to relate health to many of these issues and it could be inferred that having good health will assist people to overcome these problems. The level of health is one of the most important factors enhancing and maintaining productivity in the labor force, affecting both the quantity (working time) and quality (productivity) of employees. By investing in the health of the organizations human resources, employee services and the general workplace environment, a positive impact on productivity can be observed.

The number of wellness promotion programs in an occupational setting has positively increased over the past 20 years. These programs have the potential, if properly designed and correctly implemented, to simultaneously increase employee health and employer profitability; by preventing occupational disease and injury and promoting positive employee lifestyle behaviors. Health is an extremely important determinant of an employees capacity to work productivity as even a skilled employee who enjoys their job, has job autonomy, a pleasant work environment, good relations with colleagues and is well compensated can still have very low productivity levels when they are sick or injured at work (presenteeism) or if they are absent (absenteeism). Health should be seen as not only the absence of disease but the presence of physiological and psychological wellness, this is the key to a highly competent and productive workforce.

Many studies have shown the benefit of health programs in the workplace. There is an increasing awareness that these programs may play a significant role in achieving improved organizational productivity and, for commercial enterprises, increased profitability. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings The Effects of Behavioral Risks on Absenteeism and Health-Care Costs in the Workplace

Just one percent improvement in productivity of a person on $40000 per year assuming their output is double the value of their income ($80000) would return to the company approximately $800 per employee.

Other benefits include
• improved morale
• Increased attraction/Retention of staff
• job satisfaction,
• satisfaction with supervision,
• increased organizational commitment
• increased productivity
• reduced time loss from work/disability
• short-term health benefit cost savings
• long-term health benefit cost savings
• quality of life
• lower insurance rates
• lower legal liability

The value of health promotion programs in support of employee attraction, retention, and morale was clearly demonstrated when Glaxo Wellcome was named the best place to work in North Carolina in 1999 by the North Carolina Business Journal. These programs were cited as among the reasons people viewed Glaxo Welcome as a terrific company. In 1999, Glaxo welcome received the Everett Koop National health award, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Corporate Health Award, the American Association of Occupational Nurses Business Recognition Award. By prescription: Glaxo Wellcome has all the right ingredients to be the best place to work in North Carolina.

Citibank (Financial Services Bank) initiated a comprehensive Health Management Program in 1994, and reported the program had a positive Return on Investment, ranging from $4.56 to $4.73 saved per dollar spent on the program. The savings were even higher when absenteeism-related savings were added to health related costs, at $6.70 savings per dollar invested. Ten studies of worksite health promotion programs documented an average of $3.93 of health care benefit for each dollar of cost. Six studies of worksite health promotion programs documented and average of $5.02 of absenteeism cost savings for each dollar of program cost. So why aren’t you doing it?
A return on investment evaluation of the Citibank, N.A. Health Management Program.

1 comment:

  1. Having a health and wellbeing program in place can support a culture of happy and healthy employees, in turn providing improved productivity, attendance and motivation – all leading to a significant return on investment.