Small businesses are increasing implementation of health and wellness programs to lower the ever rising cost of health care coverage. With insurance premiums rising as much as 30% annually, it is becoming essential for small businesses to keep their health care costs low, and keep their employees as healthy as possible. Small businesses tend to use a carrot approach, incenting employees who engage in health and wellness programs, as opposed to a stick approach, which would penalize employees who engage in unhealthy lifestyles. Incentives offered can include monetary bonuses, gift cards to retailers that assist employees in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as other vehicles to support employees’ healthy lifestyles.
Health and wellness programs have proven that they pay for themselves, with research from Partnerships for Prevention showing that for every $1 a company pays for health and wellness program execution $3.50 is saved in health care coverage costs. This figure is staggering, especially for small businesses who need to manage budgets and expenditures very closely. Additionally, an Israeli study showed that employees who engaged in some form of exercise had lower rates of depression and job burnout, which proves that the benefits of health and wellness programs do not just serve employers but also employees and their interests.
Health and wellness programs are growing more and more popular, especially among small businesses. What are you doing to keep your employees healthy?