Wellness Recap

All Executive Health May 3, 2017

We’ve talked a good bit about wellness on the Armada blog, but we decided that now, at the start of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, would be a good time to revisit the topic!

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a wellness program?

These are programs put in place as a way for the employer to encourage and support employees as they adopt healthy behaviors that reduce health risks and improve quality of life.

What can they include?

  • Preventive health screenings
  • Incentive programs
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Health coaching
  • Disease management programs

Why have a wellness program?

  • Wellness programs can decrease healthcare costs. For example, a program that prevents 25 unnecessary emergency department visits can easily save $50,000.
  • These programs can increase employee satisfaction and engagement, which by extension, increases productivity and decreases presenteeism.

Quick Definition Time

Presenteeism: Coming to work while sick or distracted resulting in lost productivity and revenue

The telling statistics

  • 87% of employers have already invested or plan to invest in employee wellness programs.
  • 97% of employers believe that employee wellbeing positively impacts engagement.
  • 67% of employees said participation in wellness programs increased their engagement in their employer’s mission and goals.
  • Employees with high wellbeing have 62% lower healthcare costs than those who are struggling with health issues.

Time to dig a little deeper

  • It’s difficult to calculate the concrete ROI of a wellness program, but that’s because it tends to be treated like any other business cost and return. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that. A lot of the benefits of wellness programs are intangible and indirect. That’s why it’s better to look at it from a VOI (Value on Investment) perspective. You can read up on that in our article, Value of Wellness Way More than ROI.
  • Wellness is always a hot topic, but what about its often overlooked brother, Unwellness? Despite being a somewhat silly word to say, unwellness is a serious cost driver. Unwellness at work costs the U.S. economy $2.2 trillion a year. Get the full break down of those costs here.
  • Workplace stress, especially for company leaders, is typically written off as something that just comes with the job. But that pesky little reflex can turn into a prolonged state that can have detrimental effects like a compromised immune system, heart disease and even depression. So instead of writing it off, companies are beginning to implement wellness programs that focus on stress relief. Get more info on that in our article, Stressed Out: Solving for Stress in the Workplace.

Support from the top

Wellness programs sometimes fall a little flat in terms of employee participation. A big reason this can happen is because of a lack of support from company leaders. If they don’t believe in a company’s wellness initiative, how can the rest of the workforce be expected to follow through or be inspired enough to enact change to their health behaviors?

Check out how our CEO helps lead the Armada Wellness Initiative.


Harvard Business Review
Benefit News
Becker’s Hospital Review
Harvard Business Review

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