We already know that employee wellness programs increase job satisfaction, employee retention, well-being, and likelihood to recommend employment. However, the wellness program needs to be successful and engaging to accomplish those things. Once you have a successful wellness program, then you can really start to see the benefits to employees and the cost-savings.
A review of 56 successful worksite wellness programs found a 25% decrease in workers’ compensation, absenteeism, and healthcare expenditures related to their workplace wellness program*. When employees are healthier, they are less likely to have workplace injuries, take sick days, or need time off work related to their medical care. This is a huge benefit for employees because they will get to use more of their time off to enjoy their life outside of work rather than recovering from an illness or medical procedure.
Workplace wellness programs help reduce healthcare costs by targeting modifiable health risk factors. One study found that more than 20% of employer-employee healthcare spending was directly associated with ten modifiable risk factors. A few of the risk factors are high blood sugar, high blood pressure, obesity, and physical inactivity. The best way to combat these risk factors is through lifestyle changes. Medication may temporarily help some of these problems, but it is not a long-term solution.
Dietitians with training in behavior change theories are the most successful in helping people create successful and long-lasting changes to improve their health. Change is hard. Most people know what to do, but actually doing it is challenging. This is why nutrition education alone is insufficient. Dietitians focus on the individual person, their lifestyle, and potential barriers as we make our recommendations. We’re also trained in helping people set realistic, achievable goals that are then built upon.
Who wouldn’t want to improve the health of their employees, build a wellness-focused culture, and save money? It’s a win-win-win. Including a Registered Dietitian as part of your wellness program will make that happen.
*(Chapman LS. Meta-evaluation of worksite health promotion economic return studies: 2005 update. Am J Health Promot. 2005 Jul-Aug;19(6):1-11)
Written by guest blogger, Kailyn Seguin.
Kaitlyn Seguin is a Registered Dietitian and owner of Dietitian Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn knew she wanted to be a dietitian her freshman year of high school after helping her mom lose weight. Her entire family started eating healthier and being more active. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She then completed a dietetic internship and Master’s of Science in Dietetics at Sam Houston State University. Kaitlyn’s goal is to support people in creating healthier lifestyles without taking away the enjoyment of food and life.