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How do wellness programs benefit companies?

In today’s highly competitive job marketplace, it’s common to include a wellness program as part of an employee’s offerings. In addition, if your workforce cuts back on sweets and soda, stops smoking or engaging in other unhealthy habits, your company may be able to reduce healthcare costs.

However, as your organization reviews annual budgets and competing priorities, you may be asked to answer these questions:

Is an employer-based wellness program worth your company’s investment? How do wellness programs benefit companies?

Here are 4 ways a corporate wellness program benefits companies:

1. Increase in employee productivity

Wellness programs increase employee productivity because the well-being initiatives are focused on forming healthy habits, reducing stress and managing chronic disease.

A recent employee productivity study revealed employees who participated in a health promotion program and improved their health care or lifestyle regained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually. The study says those workers saved their companies an average of $353 per person a year in productivity costs compared to non-participants.1

2. Employee engagement, retention and recruitment

Employees understand job performance and career success are linked to physical and mental health. When organizations offer wellness programs, it’s recognized as an attractive offering.2

Employee engagement is enhanced by wellness programs because they increase internal communications and camaraderie. From emails, posters and videos to health fairs, lunch and learns and health assessments, wellness programs offer many opportunities to engage your workforce. Your associates will create connections and boost collaborations as they gather for educational sessions, cooking classes, fitness challenges and more.

Employee retention and new talent recruitment are also strengthened by sponsoring health and well-being plans. Millennials (born 1981–1996) and Generation Z, those aged 23 and younger who are beginning to enter the workforce, are health-conscious and particularly interested in wellness programs. To these younger team members, working out is as much a social activity as it is a healthy choice.3

Promoting a wellness and rewards program to associates and potential employees elevates the culture of well-being throughout your organization.

3. Accelerated adaptability to change

With economic upheavals worldwide, business strategies have been upended. Employees who can remain calm and focused on the organization’s priorities will be valuable during major changes in local and global marketplaces—like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s workforce will need to be flexible and nimble to support dynamic work environments and company pivots to address customer needs.

Gallup researchers found that employees who are engaged at work and have high levels of well-being are 45 % more likely than other employees to adapt to change.4

Adaptability is a teachable skill. A robust wellness program includes stress management and coping skills training, which can supplement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to support employees during organizational transformations.

4. Lower healthcare costs

A wellness and rewards program supports your team members in creating healthy habits.

Your program can include health assessments, biometric screenings and educational programs. Engage employees with health quizzes and fitness challenges to embed well-being into their lifestyles. When your associates earn points and are rewarded for preventative care and activities that manage chronic illness, the health and well-being initiative will save long-term healthcare costs for your organization.

Read our article, Do employee wellness programs work?, to see statistics and information about the long-term benefits of wellness programs. You can also find data from the 2019 Go365 Five-Year StudyOpens PDF in new window.

To learn more about launching an employer-based health and well-being program, contact your sales rep or request more information by completing this formOpens in new window.

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. If you are in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, please dial 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.


1 Improving Employee Productivity Through Improved Health, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, October 2013 https://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2013/10000/Improving_Employee_Productivity_Through_Improved.3.aspxOpens in new window

2 Win with Wellness: Attract and Retain Talent, Debra Wein, MS, RDN, CWPD, 8/27/18 https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2018/08/27/win-with-wellness-attract-and-retain-talent/#70af7c221648Opens in new window

3 Wooing Millennials with a Wellness Program, Jake Lewellen, November 2019 https://www.calbrokermag.com/more/wooing-millennials-with-a-wellness-program/Opens in new window

4 Well-Being Enhances Benefits of Employee Engagement, Gallup Workplace, 10/27/15 https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236483/enhances-benefits-employee-engagement.aspxOpens in new window

Five Reasons Employee Wellness Is Worth the Investment, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Accessed April 2020 https://health.gov/news-archive/blog/2017/05/five-reasons-employee-wellness-is-worth-the-investment/index.htmlOpens in new window

11 Data-Backed Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs, Ashley Bell, Accessed April 2020 https://snacknation.com/blog/benefits-of-employee-wellness-programs/Opens in new window