Financial incentive for employee wellness isn't just speculation, study shows
- Consumer health enterprise SaaS firm Welltok released a research study showing that employee wellness programs can raise employers’ financial value.
- The study found that a company with 10,000 employees can drive $3 million in new value by raising engagement through a wellness program for workers and dependents.
- High value activities identified by the study included managing chronic health conditions, improving mental health and optimizing medication use. These activities also help to decrease medical costs and improve productivity, the study shows.
That there may be a financial incentive to wellness programs should be secondary to the health and emotional benefits they provide for employees. Many executives believe having a wellness program is a critical business component that can attract and retain talent.
The integration of new apps, software and wearables has also made it easier for such programs to help employees meet their personal health goals.
Employers must comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s rules governing wellness programs. At issue recently was whether offering employees discounts or gifts to participate in wellness programs is a form of coercion and whether the health forms employees must fill out violate their privacy.
The EEOC's latest ruling on the issue allows employers to offer incentives to participate in wellness programs. The agency limits compliance to employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.