CORPORATE WELLNESS: a payoff investment.
- By: Βαλεντίνη Κωνσταντινίδου
- 8 February 2023
Corporate wellness and well-being programs are health strategies that cultivate behavioral changes in the corporate context. In the post-COVID-19 era, corporate wellness and well-being programs are more than a ¨nice-to-have¨ extra. They have become a strategic, imperative, and profitable investment.
Companies have come to realize that healthy and happy employees cost you less and they are more likely to be faithful to your company for a longer time, dealing with the quiet quitting phenomenon in an effective way. This is a rising phenomenon that decreases employees’ passion and productivity and slows down the business. United Nations No 3 goal of sustainable development is related to Good health and well-being for all at all ages. It is a goal to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for everyone. That is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development includes a chapter (chapter 6) on ¨Protecting and Promoting Human Health¨ recognizing that health and development are intimately interconnected and one cannot be achieved without the other.
Wellness or well-being?
Both terms, wellness, and well-being are valid but they do reflect a different perspective. The term wellness is used mainly in business language whereas the term well-being is the scientific term used to express measured individual feelings and conditions. These individual feelings determine a person’s happiness, fulfillment, and contentment which are all metrics of what we call Quality of Life (QoL). WHO defines Quality of Life as an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns. When we talk about corporate wellness programs, we talk about programs that promote and foster each employee’s happiness and quality of life.
Benefits of a corporate wellness program
Companies that have already invested in corporate wellness programs report, among others, benefits such as:
- Increased employee well-being,
- Improved productivity,
- Higher engagement levels and
- Reduced healthcare cost
McKinsey&Company has dedicated a special section and has well-addressed well-being in the workplace with numerous updated articles. Recent research shows the effectiveness of corporate wellness programs in the reduced risk of disease, increased productivity, and less absence. For example, one of these studies has shown that publicly-traded organizations that had invested in their employee’s well-being saw a better stock performance on the S&P 500 index compared to the average company. A preventive, corporate health strategy is able to reduce healthcare costs and upgrade your employees’ health and performance in the long term. In the USA it is expected an increase in employer healthcare costs at an average annual rate of 5.4% until 2028. A company can play a crucial role in this cost which is actually an indirect expense in each company´s budget. Cost savings for a company can be calculated by multiplying the reduction in lost work days by average pay rates.
Back in 2010, a Harvard Business review article had already targeted the need for corporate wellness programs which is even more timely today. That information explained that a comprehensive, science-based, and well-designed investment in employees’ social, mental and physical health actually pays off. An example was the Johnson & Johnson company. In that case, the company had saved approx. $250 million on health care costs over a decade meaning that the Return of Investment (ROI) was approx. 2.71$ for every dollar spent in their corporate wellness program.
In the same analysis, it was shown that only moving just the 10% of a company´s employees from high- and medium-risk to low-risk status yielded a ROI of 6 to 1. To calculate the ROI before implementing a corporate wellbeing program we need to think about how much money will be saved or earned for every dollar/euro spend on employee wellbeing. This ROI calculation may not always have a monetary figure but a value on investment (VOI), such as:
- Productivity. This is an obvious factor if measured as illness-related absenteeism. But the less obvious, and maybe the most important, is what is called presenteeism. That happens when people do appear to work but underperform because of stress, anxiety, or underlying health issues.
- Engagement. Healthy and happy employees are an asset as they strengthen a company´s culture by building commitment, and trust, and serving a commonly accepted purpose.
- High morale. Personal health is an intimate issue. Investment in a person’s wellness can create deep bonds and appreciation. Employees feel pride, trust, and being trusted as they care for a company that cares back.
DNANUTRICOACH® corporate wellness programs
When it comes to health, wellness, and prevention there is no one-size fits all approach and this is our core value and purpose. A personalized approach is a necessity, not a luxury, also when we design and execute corporate wellness programs. Some of the main subjects we work on to achieve the above-mentioned benefits in our corporate wellness programs are:
● Identify obvious and hidden risk factors for the health and well-being of all employees.
● Raise awareness on early prevention, not only early detection.
● Offer updated, scientific information and guidance.
● Acquisition of practical knowledge & new everyday skills.
Read more about our programs here.
By Dr. Valentini Konstantinidou, RDN, MSc, PhD.
- Nutrigenetics & nutrigenomics researcher and lector
- Nutritionist – Dietitian
- Food technologist
- Accredited Practitioner Coach (IAPC&M)
- Founder of DNANUTRICOACH®
Dr. Valentini Konstantinidou