In This Economy Can We Afford Our Corporate Health & Wellness Programs?
Corporate Health & Wellness programs, mainly health fairs, have become the cornerstone of many corporation’s employee relations, appreciation, motivation and retention strategies. These programs have become popular because if done correctly the Return on Investment (ROI) for Health Fairs, Flu Shots and Stress Down days have proven to average a 2 to 4 times return. “So corporations cannot afford to not have a health fair and corporate flu vaccination programs”, according to John Buckley, President of OpenHouse Direct Inc and HealthFairsDirect.com, a 12-year-old corporate health and wellness company.
Unfortunately, with the changes in the economy, many corporations are cutting back on their health & wellness programs as they are viewed as nonessential. This is an error that will cost corporations more than ever in the way of employee retention and motivation.
We are entering 2009 with a very unstable economy and no relief in sight. With all of the talk of bankruptcies, mergers and bailouts, employees are more uncertain about their future than ever. Corporations are cutting their overhead and layoffs are a reality for almost anyone as payroll is usually the quickest area to cut expenses. This creates more stress as employees are more uncertain about their future and income stability.
In order to make it through these tough times corporations need to become more competitive than ever. We need to do more with less and we are expecting our employees to step up and become more productive. This added pressure to perform increases uncertainty and with uncertainty comes more stress for the employee as they may feel that their job is under a microscope. No corporation is immune; everyone is feeling the pressure and uncertainty of change.
So what do we do? Do we cut out the very programs that are proven to increase employee motivation and retention? Corporate Health & Wellness Programs are the best investment in the health, wellbeing and stability of your employees. They show that you care about their health and wellbeing, not just their production. Many corporations still ran their health & wellness fairs and flu shot programs as scheduled. They all received positive feedback from their employees and the overall result was to give their employees the feeling that their jobs are secure and the company was not going anywhere. The corporations that cut out their health fairs gave the opposite impression to their employees.
Some corporations continued with the scheduled health and wellness fair but cut out their flu shot programs, thinking they would save a couple of dollars.
“Cutting out their preventative health programs can cost corporations ten times their perceived savings when flu season hits,” warns John Buckley. “One employee who becomes sick with the flu loses a minimum of 2 weeks of work and has an additional 2 to 3 weeks of reduced production as they try to recover”.
According to an article on www.cnnmoney.com, “With median weekly earnings of $675 for all wage and salary workers, paid sick leave costs an employer $135 per day per employee… Multiplied the $135 by the 70 million missed work days for a total of $9.45 billion in lost wages.
“In today’s economy,” Buckley warns, “ you can’t afford for employees to be sick and/or unproductive for 3-4 weeks at a time. In this economy you need your employees to be at the top of their game at all times. You need to be more competitive than ever.”
“You can’t afford to have your employees get sick. They’re out for a week, now they’re backlogged and groggy for a few weeks as they try to catch up. Or they don’t take the time off needed to get better and infect other employees.”
“You need a motivated, healthy and productive workforce during these tough economic times,” Buckley continues. Don’t find out too late that your competition expanded their health and wellness programs during this tough economic time and was more successful as a result.
By reducing the number of sick days per employee and providing solutions Corporate Health & Wellness programs are proven to have a positive ROI, to reduce stress which increases employee motivation, production and retention. Now is the time to invest in the stability of your employees. The rule of thumb is to budget 2 to 4 percent of your overall medical insurance budget for health and wellness programs. During these tough economic times make sure you do not short change your employees and expand your health & wellness programs.
18 Hamilton Street, Suite 1
Bound Brook, NJ 08805
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- John Buckley
- OpenHouse Direct Inc
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