Holly Hicks, workplacerantings.com
One of the hottest topics across the globe right now is the debate on rising health care costs and who is going to be paying for them in the present and the future. While some are looking to governments to bear the cost, others are looking towards employers and even the employees themselves.
According to most experts, one of the biggest issues causing the rise in health care costs is the rise in obesity and cancer rates, and general unhealthiness that seems to purvey society more and more each day. Because of that, many workplaces are implementing wellness programs in hopes of not only helping their employees personally, but also help the company financially as well.
There are many benefits to having a wellness program in the workplace. Here are a few of the most widely held ones:
- Empowers employees – In a successful wellness program, employees are given the tools they need to keep themselves healthy and fit. It is up to the employee alone to stay vigilant, and because of this, it gives them a sense of empowerment.
- Lowers long term health insurance costs – With a healthier workforce, the overall amount of health insurance premiums that a workplace has to pay will go down over time. It is much cheaper to prevent illness than it is to treat it. Studies have shown that job sites with wellness programs and on-premise workout facilities have been able to reduce their health care costs by as much as 50%.
- More productivity – With a healthier workforce, there will be less on the job injuries and workers will have more energy to go about their day. Job sites with a wellness program in place have averaged almost a 25% reduction in short term sick leave amongst employees and productivity rates are up to as high as 50%.
- Less turnover – Healthy employees are generally also happy employees. By having a successful wellness program, the general mood of the workplace will rise over time.
As you can see, the benefits of having a wellness program in the workplace are a win-win solution for everyone involved. Employees have healthier, happier and more productive lives, and the workplace is able to thrive with higher productivity and lower overall costs.
If national governments were somehow able to get involved to spur the expansion of these types of programs to as many workplaces as possible, perhaps the entire health care debate could be ended within a relatively short period of time.
While separate nations are currently deciding on who is to pay for rising health care costs, the best solution to date seems to be that everyone needs to work together to solve not only this economic problem, but social one as well. If people are able to take better care of themselves, then the long term cost of health care will go down, and it will be much more manageable for employers and the government to deal with.