Employee wellness is becoming an increasing point of emphasis in recent years. Worker burnout is one of the leading causes of individuals choosing to leave their jobs, along with poor work/life balance and not feeling valued. When employees do not feel that their company cares for their wellbeing, they are far more likely to leave and seek out better options for their careers.
This trend, along with the great resignation of the last few years, is causing many businesses to invest more heavily in their employees. One of the ways that they are doing this is through wellness programs. Whether they are focused on physical, mental, or emotional health, these programs can have a marked effect on morale, retention, and health.
In fact, one of the hidden benefits of these wellness programs has been the number of worker’s compensation claims that are occurring within these companies. So what are the positive effects of wellness programs and how are they resulting in a reduction in worker’s compensation claims?
Workers who lead unhealthy lifestyles are at a higher risk of injury. Poor health could result in obesity, diabetes, or weakened bones and muscles that are more susceptible to accidents. Companies understand these risks and are therefore implementing various wellness programs to support their employees’ journeys toward better health.
Types of Wellness Programs
Different companies adopt varying strategies for investing in the health of their workers. Some will reimburse employees for gym memberships over the course of a year. Others will install a company gym to encourage healthy habits for their team members. Sometimes, offering healthy snacks on-site can make a difference in the physical well-being of workers.
There are also medical procedures that companies are starting to cover such as certain screenings or tests that their employees can take free of charge to detect diseases or other ailments.
These Programs Reduce Worker’s Compensation Claims
Logically, healthy individuals are far less prone to injuries. In the workplace, this means that companies that are invested in the health of their team members are seeing a reduction in the number of worker’s compensation claims that are the result of injuries or illnesses. In 2016, a study conducted by the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism found that businesses that implemented wellness programs saw a 30% reduction in compensation or disability claims. Additionally, sick days were used far less frequently.
This shows that injuries became less likely and severe when wellness programs were implemented, and the health of the employees themselves was improved as well.
Safety Goes Hand-in-Hand with Health
Workplace safety is another area that can have a significant impact on the number of worker’s compensation claims, especially in more dangerous industries. In fact, some of the leading causes of worker’s compensation claims are related to safety issues. Although wellness programs are typically focused on health, safety programs are very much aligned with the well-being of employees.
A Happier Workplace
The last few years have shown that the workforce is full of people who are not afraid to pack up and look for greener pastures if they feel undervalued or uncared for by their current employer. A huge part of feeling valued comes down to the benefits that they can receive when they are part of a company.
By implementing wellness programs and prioritizing employee safety, companies will see happier employees who know that they are valued and cared for. This alone can create a more positive work culture where people are invested in each other and their mental/emotional health improves. With this type of work environment, the risk of burnout decreases. Healthier employees are happier employees.
More Attentive Supervisors
When a company fosters a positive culture with wellness programs, safety practices, and better team-building strategies, it creates a better relationship between employees and their supervisors. This plays a huge role in the overall safety of the workplace, as it causes supervisors to be more cognizant of the potential dangers and concerns that their team faces every day. With more focused supervisors, factors that could lead to a potential injury and worker’s compensation claim can be addressed and fixed sooner. As supervisors learn to pay more attention to their employees, the health and safety of the whole team will improve.
Companies Are Learning From the Mistakes of the Past
Retaining employees and investing in their well-being was not always a priority in the business world. But the workforce is changing, and companies are changing along with it. To remain competitive and increase productivity, businesses are learning that people are their best resource. By investing in their people through wellness programs and proper safety standards, they are more effectively using their available resources.
When individuals see the benefits of wellness programs that contribute to their health and happiness, they are far more likely to stick around and work harder toward success. The added benefit of fewer injuries, illnesses, and worker’s compensation claims comes as a bonus for companies that are fully invested in their team members’ health.