The inflation rate in India is expected to be 5.10 by end of this quarter and it would reach 5.70 in 12 months’ time.  In addition to rising inflation, unhealthy behaviors in India’s workforce have been leading to the steep rise in healthcare costs.

Employers are proactively looking for new ways to save money on employee health benefits.  The best method to bring down costs associated with unhealthy behavior, absenteeism, employee disengagement and attrition is – “Corporate wellness programs”.

Wellness programs are still a new concept in India and many employers find it difficult to understand the benefits of these programs. They fail to realize that a happier and healthier workforce is the key to increase productivity and save health-related costs.

Even though a wellness program would require time to establish a change graph in the physical health of the employees, it’s an essential step towards a fitter workforce.

Here are the five good reasons why wellness programs cannot be denied by any business, no matter their size or their bottom line.

  • Lowers health care costs

A recent Rand study analyzed outcomes of wellness programs implemented for 10 years by a fortune 100 employer and found out that

a) Wellness programs contributed to 86% of healthcare cost savings

b) Specifically – disease management program generated $136 savings per member, per month and 30% reduction in hospital admissions.

  • Increases employee loyalty

A well-planned workplace wellness program can increase employee health and happiness significantly. Happy employees are  12% productive and 87% more loyal to company thereby increasing overall productivity.

  • Reduces Absenteeism cost

A case study report by Harvard Business Review reveals that workplace wellness programs can reduce the absenteeism significantly. For every $1 invested in wellness programs, absenteeism costs fall by $2.73 and medical costs fall by $3.27.

  • Increases employee engagement

Gallup survey found that 8% of workers worldwide are not actively engaged in their jobs which cost employee cost up to $450 to $550 billion per year. Employees are 14.8% more engaged when provided with stress reliefs, nutritionist, health consulting, healthy activities which in turn can reduce the costs related to employee disengagement.

  • Reduces Stress Levels

The stress mapping techniques used in corporate wellness programs can assist Human resource managers to determine the stress initiating factors in corporate and take appropriate actions to reduce the stress levels. This is going to result in increased employee happiness, employee retention, and reduced health insurance costs for your business.

  • High level of stress environment is responsible for 50% increase in Healthcare expenditures
  • Employees under high level of stress cost up to  40% more than employees with low levels of stress

Some of the benefits of availing a wellness program :

  • Higher ROI- For every 1 Rupee spent on employee wellness programs, employers get a saving of Rs.132.33 as savings on absenteeism costs and Rs 6.62 return on healthcare costs.
  • Employees from Industries are mostly in favor of adopting well planned Corporate wellness program :
  1. IT/ITES – 93% are in favor of wellness programs
  2. Media- 60% employees find it Motivating
  3. FMCG- 75% employees feel that wellness programs are productive
  4. BFSI- 84% consider wellness programs to be motivating
  5. Engineering/ Infrastructure/Market research/KPO and real estate- 100% are in favor of wellness programs

If implemented correctly a right wellness program will encourage a happier, healthier work culture and boost employee morale. It would create a conducive work environment where an individual can comfortably focus on work productivity rather than stress, health, finances and home.

A robust workplace wellness program can definitely address serious issues like – employee disengagement, absenteeism, unhealthy behaviors and save a lot of money for corporate.