Most employers start a wellness program for the potential healthcare cost savings. But new research has shown they’re great for more than just padding the bottom line.
In addition to the healthcare cost savings employer-sponsored wellness programs can generate (anywhere from $2.71 for every dollar spent to $3.27), the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed that employers also benefit from wellness plans via increases in these six areas:
1. Employee knowledge about health care
Employees enrolled in wellness programs are much more likely to be in-the-know about health care in general.
Example: The study found that 34% of employees not offered access to a wellness program understood the total cost of an injury or illness at least “very well” compared to 44% of those enrolled in a wellness program. In addition, 54% of those not offered access to a wellness plan understood their employer’s contribution to their health benefits compared to 66% of those in a wellness program.
2. Benefits engagement
Those engaged in a wellness program are more likely to be engaged in their benefits plans and prepared for changes to their coverage, found Aflac, which polled 1,884 benefits decision-makers and 5,299 employees to detect benefits trends for its report.
Example: Only 35% of those not offered access to a wellness program agreed they’re taking full advantage of their benefits plan, compared to 54% of those who are active in a wellness program. Plus, 57% of those not offered wellness activities said they’re not prepared for changes to their coverage, while 48% of those in a wellness plan aren’t prepared.
3. Satisfaction with benefits
Those enrolled in a wellness program are more likely to be “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their employer-sponsored benefits program overall (66% versus just 44% of those not offered access to a wellness program).
4. Satisfaction with jobs
Two-thirds (66%) of employees enrolled in a wellness program were “very” or “extremely satisfied” with their job compared to 53% of employees in jobs that don’t offer a wellness program.
In addition, wellness participants were less likely to look for a new job than non-participants (19% versus 30%, respectively).
5. Confidence in company
Employees in a wellness program were much more likely to label their employer as being one that takes care of its employees (56%) compared to those not offered access to a wellness program (42%).
In addition, more wellness program participants (67%) believe their HR department is knowledgeable about benefits than those not offered access to wellness activities (48%).
6. Employee financial well-being
Lastly, Aflac discovered that wellness plan participants are also much more likely to feel financially secure.
- 40% of those enrolled in a wellness plan agreed they’re fully protected by their current insurance coverage (compared to 25% of non-wellness participants)
- 40% of wellness participants felt confident in their financial future (compared to 26% of non-participants), and
- 54% of wellness participants have a financial plan designed to achieve financial goals and prepare them for unexpected challenges (compared to 37% of non-participants).
This article previously appeared on our sister website, HRBenefitsAlert.com.