How To Convince Your Company To Create A Wellness Program

Why Wellness Programs Matter

You are your company’s backbone. As an employee, you drive revenue, solve problems, and make money. You aren’t just a drone who sits in an office cubicle all day. You are a real person with a family and a personal life outside of work.

Sometimes, life happens and you may not be as on top of things at work as you used to be. That doesn’t mean you’ve lost your touch or that you’re no longer valuable. Your company can help you get back on track.

About 70% of companies offer Employee Assistance and Employee Wellness programs. Employee Assistance Programs help employees get back on track after their job performance drops, while Employee Wellness Programs prevent performance drops. But these perks aren’t just great for employees. Companies who invest in these programs also benefit from:

  • Reduced long term insurance costs
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Increased employee retention

Companies like Johnson & Johnson, Google, and IBM not only take these kinds of programs seriously, they also see significant returns on their investments from these programs.

Benefits To The Company

If you’re looking to convince your company to implement a wellness program, make it about them. Outline the benefits to the company.

Lower Costs

Over 10 years, Johnson & Johnson saved about $250 million from reduced healthcare spending and reduced employee absenteeism.

Johnson & Johnson has a comprehensive employee wellness program that focuses on physical health. They’ve implemented programs that have helped employees quit smoking and others that connect their employees to mental health professionals. Their health profile program also scores employees on key health metrics and offers guidance to improve physical health. Not only did employees improve their health, Johnson & Johnson also got $2.57 back for every dollar they spent on these wellness programs. Over 10 years, Johnson & Johnson saved about $250 million from reduced healthcare spending alone. The more comprehensive your company’s insurance plan is, the more they could potentially save from taking an active role in improving their employees’ health.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

“At Virgin Pulse, we have shown positive impact on business and talent concerns like absence, safety, performance and productivity, turnover, and even customer quality and customer satisfaction.” – Virgin Pulse

Richard Branson has famously said that employees come first and customers come second. He understands the importance of investing in employee wellness. Virgin America includes standard benefits like health insurance, retirement planning, and flexible working hours. Sure, these are great, but they also help with student loans, flexible working hours, and wellness programs for employees and their families. That’s going above and beyond for employees, but what does that have to do with customers?

In survey of over 1,000 HR professionals, over 50% of companies who invested in employee engagement programs increased customer satisfaction. Read that again. Companies who made their employees happy also made their customers happy. Happy employees are willing to go above and beyond for the customers that they serve. If your company wants its customers to fall in love with them (and they do), convince them to invest in you.

Increased Employee Loyalty

About 40% of generation X and Y employees cite strong benefits as “extremely important” in creating loyalty to an employer.

IBM is known for its presence in hardware and technology, but what isn’t common knowledge is the robustness of its employee assistance program. IBM’s Employee Assistance Program includes counseling for not only its employees, but also for its employees’ family members. It’s work-life balance program, Lifeworks, gives employees counseling about how to manage time, organize their lives to achieve their optimal work-life balances, and even help families with the adoption process. Their website outlines its “competitive benefits program” and encourages potential new-hires to explore IBM’s benefits.

But what does IBM get out of giving its employees so much? Loyalty. The most loyal employees tend to be the ones with strong benefits packages. About 40% of Generation X and Y employees cite strong benefits as “extremely important” in creating loyalty to an employer. Training new employees is expensive, and your company would love to keep you as long as they can.

Before You Make Your Case

To summarize, small changes in a company can make you feel more motivated and engaged at work. In return, employers will benefit from:

  • Saving money
  • Delighting customers
  • Retaining talent

Your company wants all of these perks. Think of the benefits that are most important to you, then make your case. What changes would help you thrive in your job? Things like flexible work hours aren’t super expensive strategies for many companies to offer. If you want more perks, remind them that investing in employee health isn’t just for massive tech companies. It’s good business.

Before you ask, make sure you’re proving yourself to your firm.  This will give you more leverage when you make the request.

What does your employer do to take care of its employees? What kind of wellness and assistance programs do your company have?


Photo by Climate KIC

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