In an age of ever-increasing healthcare costs, the value of a healthy workforce is clear to all employers. However, many companies find challenges in determining the return on investment (ROI) involved with implementing a corporate wellness programs at their onsite health centers.
Proven ROI from corporate wellness programs:
Chronic health issues, even for just a small part of the overall workforce, can take a major toll on company resources. A study by AstraZeneca of 6,000 employees showed that those identified as “high-risk” for chronic conditions, while only making up 20% of the workforce, accounted for 80% of total healthcare costs and productivity losses.
The most thorough corporate wellness programs include Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) and biometric screenings that can prevent or manage health risks before costly chronic treatments are needed. According to the Wellness Council of America, every $1 that companies invest in wellness programs saves $3 in healthcare costs. Clinical heath coaches provide the tools to enable patients to make healthier decisions: more than 75% of employer healthcare costs and productivity losses are due to employee lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
When an employee misses work due to illness, the true cost to the business is never as simple as the value of lost hours for that single employee. According to a 2005 study in the Journal of Applied Economics and Health Policy (“How to Present the Business Case for Healthcare Quality to Employers”), absenteeism has a cumulative effect, as a disruption in one employee’s workflow always impacts those of other employees as well. It is estimated that wellness programs can help decrease absenteeism by as much at 5%.
Presenteeism is defined as an employee attending work, but functioning below capacity. A report by Global Corporate Challenge found that employees admit to being underproductive on the job for 57.5 days each per year. Presenteeism costs businesses 10 times more than absenteeism. With the right models in place, companies can reduce presenteeism over time by improving health status in the target population.
Enhancing Shareholder Value
Companies focusing on corporate wellness programs are yielding greater returns for their investors as well.
A 2016 study from the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine found that
"...values for a portfolio of companies that received high scores in a corporate health and wellness self-assessment appreciated by 235% compared with the S&P 500 Index appreciation of 159% over a 6-year simulation period."
In addition, professional services company Towers Watson states that employers with highly-effective health programs generate up to 20% more revenue per employee, see a 16.1% average higher market value, and deliver 57% higher shareholder return.
Leading employers are beginning to take a new philosophical approach to assessing corporate wellness ROI, viewing them less as an expense and more as an investment in their employees and as an essential component in their company’s long-term strategic planning and growth. Not only do corporate wellness programs at onsite health centers increase morale and general health, they provide savings through lower overall long-term employer healthcare costs and extend the careers of productive, essential employees.