New study highlights shrinking healthcare costs as advantage of wellness programs

A new study indicates that providing employee incentive programs in conjunction with corporate health and wellness initiatives is an effective way to transform any workplace into a happy, healthy and productive atmosphere.

The Incentive Research Foundation specializes in funding and promoting research that improves awareness and implementation of incentive programs for companies worldwide. The IRF conducted the study that found successful corporate health and wellness programs are boosted by incentives.

Employers looking to get their employees to stop smoking so company health insurance premiums go down and productivity goes up will likely find success in putting the appropriate program in place that will benefit employer and employees equally.

“The U.S. is spending about $2.5 trillion per year on health care,” said Rodger Stotz, chief research officer at IRF. “As much as 75 percent of that is spent on preventable conditions, so the potential savings through preventative health care measures that include workplace wellness programs could be as high as $1.9 trillion per year. And this doesn’t even consider productivity gains or worker quality of life improvements.”

The results of successful corporate wellness programs can create a savings-to-cost ratio of more than $3 in savings for ever $1 invested, said Melissa Van Dyke, IRS president, before adding that Johnson & Johnson saves an estimated $9 million to $10 million per year from its program.

“Less than one in five employees will participate in wellness programs that do not offer rewards,” Stotz said. “This changes dramatically when incentives are offered – four in five will participate. Clearly all businesses should consider this when looking at their wellness efforts.”

According to Benefits Canada, corporate health and wellness programs are also beneficial in retaining talent and preventing a high turnover rate. Initiating the right program will establish a relationship with the highly motivated and productive employees that are often looking for the next best employment opportunity.

The ever-increasing cost of healthcare as well as the noted success of major corporations and small businesses that have implemented a corporate health and wellness program add up to evidence that the right wellness program can be implemented by any company with the benefits far reaching and substantial.