Company Wellness Programs



Multiple factors contribute to the performance of employees within a given firm. Some of them have been established through thorough research that is aimed at creating best practices that will increase productivity within the business while lowering turnover. Related research has continuously narrowed down on different factors, and there is a clear indication that there are some outright issues that have perennially been left out when trying to understand how to increase efficiency by decreasing turnaround time while increasing employee output. 

While firms and institutions have tried to motivate their employees through different practices and programs, most have overlooked the fundamental factor of employee wellness. The wellbeing of the workforce directly affects its output, and the overall performance of any given institution is greatly determined by the wellness of the employees (Berry, Mirabito & Baun, 2010). The work situation often offers opportunities and challenges that either increase the health risk factors in the workforce or some that become the risk factors themselves. When employers invest in employee wellness, they increase efficiency by lowering operating costs that are related to absenteeism, job satisfaction, employee turnover and health insurance benefits related expenses. 

It is, therefore, sensible to conclude that the wellbeing of the workforce is based on its lifestyle and as such, lifestyle becomes a major concern for both the employees as well as the employer based on health and eventual productivity. Companies have continuously realized the need to fund wellness programs with the long run aim of saving the company’s money through improvement of the health of the workforce which in turn positively affects the attitude, morale, and productivity of the employees. Whereas the actual levels of the return on investment for such programs are controversial, evidence-based practices have proved theirs within companies (Aldana, et al. 2005). 

Company wellness connotes any promotional activity or policy within the workplace that seeks to improve the health of the employees or to encourage healthy behavior within the workplace to achieve set health outcomes. Company wellness could also be referred to as corporate wellbeing or workplace wellbeing. Such activities and programs are often comprised of different approaches such as medical screenings, health education, weight management programs as well as different on-site fitness facilities such as gyms and related programs. 

Such programs have different classifications depending on the actual goals of a specific program. The classifications are either, primary, secondary or tertiary with the primary programs targeting an employee population that could be considered fairly healthy. Such programs encourage the population, to engage in healthy behaviors more frequently to continue their ongoing good health. Primary prevention programs that are used on a daily basis within companies include activities that are aimed at stress management, exercise as well as the promotion of healthy dietetics (Wallace, Lemaire&Ghali, 2009).

The secondary prevention programs on the other hand target the reduction of conduct that is viewed as a risk element for defective health. Most companies, for example, have got programs for smoking cessation as well as occasional screenings for risk factors that are related cardio-vascular illness, for instance, high blood pressure. These tertiary health programs are targeted at the existing health problems with the aim of helping to reduce and hopefully control the symptoms ultimately. These efforts are also aimed at slowing the progression of given diseasesand conditions. Through these programs, employees are encouraged to adhere to certain specified medications, and the company facilitates adherence to the requisite self-managed care guidelines. Employers should carry out a thorough study on the health needs of their work force before setting up an elaborate workplace wellness program in order to identify the health requirements of the employees, thus creating the necessary programs under the ideal classification. 

There are other organizational policies that are aimed at workplace wellness, but they do not entirely fall into the spectra of the classes identified herein. Such policies include scheduled flex-time for exercise. Most companies also provide on-site eating areas complete with kitchenettes, and they offer dietary advice, and their vending machines offer healthy food options. New insight has led to the creation of creative solutions such as “walk and talk” meetings. Companies have gone to the extent of offering incentives such as financial gifts to the employees for effective participation.

In the need to improve wellness programs, companies have changed their approach from the single health promotion interventions to accommodate more needs through the creation of more interventions to achieve an environment that is healthier in general (Parks & Steelman, 2008). Such interventions include the use of certain standards in building as well as interior designs that promote different physical activities. These improvements show the ambition that companies have embraced in creating structural support to the wellbeing efforts. They are also an indication of the willingness of the leadership to support the participation of their businesses in improving the employee wellness.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Summary of Findings (2016) is a survey that was carried out to seek contemporary information on health insurance sponsored by the employer through the Foundation run by the family of Kaiser in conjunction with the “Health Research & Educational Trust” on nonfederal public and private employers that have more than two workers. According to the survey, many employers are offering wellness and health programs with the aim of improvingemployee health while imploring them to avoid unhealthy tendencies. 

The ability to have these programs is not limited to any type or form of business since firms of all sizes dealing with different interests can offer at least a program in any of the target areas such as smoking cessation or weight management. Some companies extend their programs to both behavioral and lifestyle coaching. The survey indicated that out of the sample, 46% of the small firms offered a program that sought to improve wellness with 83% of the large firms offering the same (Aldana, et al. 2005). Only 3% percent of the small firms indicated that they had collected any form of health information from their employees through the use of wearable devices. Whereas this seems like a low percentage, it is generally replicated by the large companies that showed that only 16% of them used such devices. In 42% of the large firms that had any form of health and wellness programs, employees were offered financial incentives in order to either participate or to complete a given program. The large firms’ incentives for the employees to complete or take part in the wellness programs included lower premium contributions and cost-sharing and cash incentives. Contributions and merchandise were the other types of incentives used. In some firms, the financial incentives were separate in the different programs that they run while others required participation in more than one program to get the incentives. 

From the same survey, it was deduced that there are different types of programs aimed at increasing wellness that were offered in different firms. Some firms used sophisticated measures such as biometric screening to identify the cardiovascular risk factors ascribed to their employees. Such programs tend to be facilitated more by the larger companies. The indication is that larger companies realize the need for employee wellness and the amount of support from the leadership encouraged by management is evident in the company wellness that is received by employees. 

Need a custom paper ASAP?
We can do it today.
Tailored to your instructions. 0% plagiarism.

Statement of the Problem 

Whereas there are many reasons for companies to implement different workplace wellness programs within the workplace, the realization of the desired implementation rates is still wanting. It is important to note that the recent economic turmoil has led more people to take up extra jobs or to work longer shifts. As a result, more Americans today spend more of their time within the workplace. This limits their chances of access to health facilities as the time to do so is limited. With longer working hours, people tend to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and eating junk, and this greatly degrades the desired employee wellness. Once employees become indisposed, they often begin absenteeism, hence lowering their productivity and job satisfaction (Baicker, Cutler & Song, 2010). In the long run, such factors lead to employee turnover. In addition, it is important to consider the implications of the same based on the implications on the cost of healthcare as it is continuously on the rise. Work-related chronic diseases in the United States are one of the leading contributors to the escalating costs of healthcare. Through the use of workplace wellness programs, such costs can be abated. When well implemented over a period of time, these wellness programs can be used to decrease the cost of healthcare both for the employees and employers.

Based on the employment figures within the United States, a thorough investigation should place the implications of the workplace-related health issues into context. There are Americans numbering up to above 130 million getting into employment annually all over the US. With the increase in workplace wellness programs awareness, there has been a significant decrease in health risk factors. The indication, therefore, is that there is need to implement such programs as they have been proven to decrease costs for both employers and employees.

Well-Being and Employee Health in Modern Organizations

Evidence that exposure to strain and occupational stress could be a leading risk factor began emerging as early as 1958. With excessive psychological demands at the work place, there are higher possibilities that employees could suffer stress related issues. With workplace wellness programs, such risks could be well prevented. The increment of physical engagements is asignificant part to in reducing CVD. Given that a majority of American population utilize much of their adult-life at the work-place, having primary caution programs that stress on physical acts wouldenhance the prevention of this disease.

The following Table and Graph shows the manner levels and number of individuals that are unhealthy in a typical work environment, creating a need for the establishment of a wellness program: 

Health StatusPercentage

From 2015 to 2025, spending on health is projected to increase at an average rate of 5.8% a year. Rising worker-healthcare costs have placed an increasing financial constraint on employers in the country, with about 16% of these costs exactly related to CVD. Heart illness and stroke cost the country up to $316.6 billion in healthcare costs and unrealized productivity in 2011. With these costs in healthcare rising in the U.S., employers are witnessing increased expenditure related to healthcare for workers. Costs are incurred through payment for care, and in under-productivity due to employee absence or illness. Reducing expenses associated with illness that is preventable, like cardio-vascular sickness, is for the financial benefit of both and employees and employers. To ensure continued reduction in the weight of cardio-vascular disease, as well as the general sustainability of the plan for healthcare, a fundamental change that puts more stress on cardio-vascular health enhancement throughout the lifespan is needed. Addition an emphasis on this wellness promotion at the workplace will help in the reduction of the disease (Parks & Steelman, 2008).

While the laid down goal of work fitness programs is to promote worker health, many employers in the United States have resorted to them to aid in mitigating the impact of huge growth in health benefits premiums seen in the past decade. Also, other employers have started alternating the quantity contributed by their workers for health cover depending on taking part in the projects. Cost-shifting plans alone, via high co-payments or co-insurance may result in barriers to playing a part in preventive wellness screenings or poor medication adherences high blood pressure. Fundamentally, for each dollar spent on workplace wellness activities, medical expenditure fell by about $3.27, and losses from under productivity went down by almost $2.73. 

Essay writing service:
  • Excellent quality
  • 100% Turnitin-safe
  • Affordable prices

One of the causes for the increase IN healthcare expenses to employers is the increase in obesity-related diseasesdue to lack of physical fitness activity; the other is the impact of an aging labor force and the related increase in chronic conditionsincreasing healthcare spending. In 2000, the health expenses of obesity in the United States were about $117 billion (Park, Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Every year, obesity leads to about 112,000 preventable losses of life: A Research by East Carolina University on individuals from 15 years of age with no physical disadvantages found that the average yearlymedical spendingstood at $1,019 for those engaged in regular physical activities and $1,349 for inactive individuals. Being obese increases annualpersonal health care expenditure by $125: In another research performed in North Carolina, it was noted that employees discovered that about 70 cents per dollar was used to treat workers who had more than one chronic disease, 65% of which can be tied to three main lifestyle risk aspects: lack of physical activity, deficient diet, and use of tobacco. Obese workers spend 77% more on medications compared to non-obese workers and 72 percent the medical claims on preventable conditions. 

In the data presented below was collected from a typical work environment; the number of individuals that are vulnerable to various cardiovascular diseases due to consumption of different drugs is captured. From this data, one can acknowledge that company wellness is an essential aspect of organizational performance: 

Figure 1

drink alcohol daily60%40%
eat fried foods more than 3 times weekly80%20%
drink sugary drinks more than 3 times weekly90%10%
sleep less than 7-8 hours nightly50%50%


According to “Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond”, organizations should treat employee wellness regarding deliveringinstead of an exercise in healthcare expense management (Avey, Luthans& Jensen, 2009). The emergence of health and discipline issues has shown that productivity and healthare “inextricably linked” and that a healthy labor force leads increased productivity. There exists strong proof that state of health can affect day-to-day performance at work (e.g., presentism) and impact negatively on productivity. Current suggestions for organizations are not only to assist its unhealthy workforce’swellness, but also prevent the risk of illness. Organizations are advised to implement workplace-related programs including appraisals riskson health as well as health examination in collaborationwith specific interventions. This will address both the productivity rates as well as good health for the employees. 

Having a healthy human resource is a plus for a company as it plays a strategic role hence being an asset to the organization. Companies need to acquire and maintain the best available talent in the job market (Parks & Steelman, 2008). With respect to the ever-growing costs in healthcare, organizations have resorted to looking extremely closely internal and discovering that there are important work-time levels lost to disease-stricken workers. Several companies aim at containing the cost and have initiated processes to reduce the rate of absence as a result of health appointments as well as bed-rest. This is done through the evaluation of the economic impacts of the wellness programs.  Disease-related non-attendance of work is a basic factor in the resultant reduced productivity levels. When individuals attend work, but due to illness, they underperform, the total cost of the productivity loss could be greater than the costs that would be incurred in providing insurance. Studies have indicated that there is a positive correlation between good health and its impact on an organizations efficiency. Results documented by the “World Economic Forum” indicated that across the globe if wellness activities are vigorously promoted at the organization, the employees feel the firm as being three times best performing employers and hence maintain the employees. When an organization keeps its employees engaged, their performance on the job is enhanced. The level of commitment a company places on its workforce determines how committed to the company the employees would be. These workers would display high levels of consciousness, increased motivation and hence produce a performance that can be considered above average.

A satisfaction study whose focus was on the “career well-being” discovered that just under 30% of the workforce in the United States are seriously engaged in their work-stations. It further found that the global rating was at a paltry 11% (Park, Peterson & Seligman, 2004). These workers showed satisfaction with the policies as well as the practices of their organizations and hence were showing high success rates at their jobs. They are basically happy on the job. They report that happiness as well as satisfaction through commitment to their work responsibilities hence increased rates of production. This is because these workers enjoy the responsibilities assigned to them daily at the work-station hence get much more work done. However, the non-engaged labor force has lower job satisfaction. This group stands a high chance of being declared depressed as well as having higher levels of stress and hence bear significant risks of developing heart conditions. These increased risks translate to an employee having a possibility of being away from work due to health issues. This will, in turn, affect the levels of productivity on these employees hence escalating the cost of revenue spent on the treatment of these individuals.

Together with the engagement of these employees, retention is critically significant for firms to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, the wellness plan employed by an organization acts as the determinant for prospective employees when they are seeking to settle on an employer. It is, therefore, likely for a company to realize a loss in talented human resource subsequently in the case that employees feel unsatisfied with the programs employed for their wellness. The implementation of a smartly designed wellness plan will assist the firm’s labor force to keep working for it for a prolonged period. It is established that 65% of the workers who feel satisfied with the wellness program have the intention of staying at the firm for a period, not below five years (Avey, Luthans, & Jensen, 2009). Companies know that the recruitment and training of newly acquired employees are quite expensive and the process costs a lot of money for any given organization. Basically, almost all companies seek to minimize or totally prevent this throughout its operations. Additionally, wellness plans once initiated benefits the company through the reduction of employee turnover levels as well as improving worker satisfaction. The resultant satisfied and good health employees will mean a lower or no employee turnover levels. It will also assure the firm of reduced healthcare expenditure. Statistically, a company would spend an amount less, $1,900 on employee treatment expenditure over a period of two years on a single satisfied worker. Further, a company is in a position of saving up to $19 million on 10,000 satisfied employees. Economically, these are significant figures for firms both in short and long-term perspectives. 

Satisfaction on the job, which plays a critical role in the achievement of engagement as well as retention, is closely connected to the well-being of individual employees (Grawitch, Gottschalk & Munz, 2006). Studies have shown that taking part in wellness activities is positively related to satisfaction on the job for an employee. Generally, organizations having their employees engaged have lowered rates of absenteeism, reduced turnover rates as well as increased levels of production. A company should, therefore, have a comprehensive and highly-rated wellness plan which will help it become the first stop for any employee seeking an employer. This in a broader view is a strategic business plan which distinguishes the company from its competitors.

We can write
your paper for you
100% original
24/7 service
50+ subjects

Implementing Successful Wellness Plan

For a wellness plan to be considered successful, it must be in a position to assist employees in taking charge of personal health through a consistent change in behavior. These plans can help in creating awareness of the risks associated with health, but the importance is if they manage to empower these employees to take their health more seriously. A wellness plan avails tools that the labor force requires to identify and comprehend the risks they are exposed to in relation to their health (Baicker, Cutler & Song, 2010). It also helps the workers to initiate and implement the required changes in maintaining favorable health. To ensure a successful wellness program, the criteria used must be instrumental to the program’s goals. The senior leadership must be at the forefront of driving the wellness plan to ensure its success. There should be wellness teams created to promote communication between the implementers of the program and the organization which will enhance the distribution of responsibility for the plan across the firm. Data obtained from the appraisals done on the health risks, claims as well as the cultural and environmental audits should be analyzed to show the areas where the wellness plan should focus. This will lead to the development of an operational plan using the collected data. The appropriate and practical interventions are hence settled on depending on the needs of the organization. Some of the interventions could include cessation of tobacco, healthy nutrition, and physical fitness activities as well as stress management among others. It is important for the organization to create an environment that supports thee efforts made by the employees in the wellness program to better their health. An evaluation on the levels of participation, satisfaction of the participants as well as their journey towards changing their behavior should be used to determine if the program has been able to achieve its aims and hence the need for moving on to the next stage. Hiring a competent wellness program advisors will ensure that the organization creates a complementary environment for employees in the program that will efficiently enhance the focus on the plan’s goals. The competent advisor will be instrumental in encouraging employees to strictly manage personal health conduct and have a consistent interest in the wellness program. The advisor should avail tools that would be used to measure different stages of the program to ensure the desired company objectives are achieved resulting in a healthy workforce.

With most wellness programs having a competitive nature, they promote enhanced awareness on health issues as well as fostering enthusiasm among the employees. These employees will focus more on their health and related risks through contests in loss of weight and related contests. The contests help the workers to engage actively in the in physical acts which are part of the main activities needed for improvement of health status. The other important aspect of a wellness plan is the coaching in health. Using a rather proactive method, coaching in health-related issues could help in intervening and preventing the potential risks exposure that can negatively impact on the health of employees. It enhances the awareness levels of employees on the risks pertaining to their health, proposes measures for improvement, assists in the management of chronic health conditions, gives support for intervention decisions and kick-off the process of behavior change. It also acts as an effective tool for supporting the worker’s lifestyle advancement over a prolonged period. A successful style of coaching, the evidence-based coaching, keeps focus every individual, forming a tailored program depending on the risk this particular individual is exposed to, their environment, what they prefer as well as how willing the employee is to effect change that would ensure good health (Mujtaba & Cavico, 2013). These employees are made aware that the choices they take in improving their well-being will enhance the possibility of maintaining their newly acquired behavior. 

Challenges in Implementation

Motivational interviews are evidence-based strategies that are effective in the improvement of an employee’s health by doing an analysis of their health conduct. A coaching style focusing on interviews that are motivational in nature has proven to be efficient in improving the overall health standards of workers. It also promotes activities that are physical in nature, improves nutritional traditions, encourages adherence to medication process as well as manage chronic illnesses including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes among others.  

Deadlines from 1 hour
Get A+ help
with any paper


The implementation of wellness programs that result in a healthy human resource can help generate a ray of benefits for an organization. Through investment in comprehensive and evidence oriented wellness plans, organizations can significantly reduce the costs associated with lifestyle as well as health status thereby decreasing the premiums paid on health insurance. These programs also work towards improving the general employee well-being, satisfaction on the job as well as engagement in activities. A smartly designed wellness plan will result in the company realizing increased productivity as well as the improved competitiveness of the organization among its peers (Mujtaba & Cavico, 2013). Settling on the right strategic health and wellness partner as the company’s advisor on health issues to innovate and implement wellness plans will assist the organization in achieving these objectives. 

Did you like this sample?
  1. Aldana, S. G., Merrill, R. M., Price, K., Hardy, A., & Hager, R. (2005). Financial impact of a comprehensive multisite workplace health promotion program. Preventive medicine, 40(2), 131-137.
  2. Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., & Jensen, S. M. (2009). Psychological capital: A positive resource for combating employee stress and turnover. Human resource management, 48(5), 677-693.
  3. Baicker, K., Cutler, D., & Song, Z. (2010). Workplace wellness programs can generate savings. Health affairs, 29(2), 304-311.
  4. Berry, L., Mirabito, A. M., &Baun, W. B. (2010). What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs?
  5. Bloom, S. (2008). Employee Wellness Programs. Professional Safety, 53(8), 41.
  6. Grawitch, M. J., Gottschalk, M., &Munz, D. C. (2006). The path to a healthy workplace: A critical review linking healthy workplace practices, employee well-being, and organizational improvements. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 58(3), 129.
  7. Parks, K. M., & Steelman, L. A. (2008). Organizational wellness programs: a meta-analysis.
  8. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of social and Clinical Psychology, 23(5), 603-619.
  9. Wallace, J. E., Lemaire, J. B., &Ghali, W. A. (2009). Physician wellness: a missing quality 
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays