January 28, 2013
The Return on Investment of workplace wellness programmes goes way beyond cost savings a major new report reveals. Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and the Power of Metrics found smoking cessation incentives help increase productivity, nutrition and exercise drives and centralised programmes which utilise the latest technology leads to increased employee engagement which helps reduce staff turnover. Said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman World Economic Forum “Over 50% of the working population spend the majority of their time at work, so the workplace provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness, as well as guide and incentivise individuals to develop healthier behaviours.”
The report, developed for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos-Klosters, by the Workplace Wellness Alliance (the Alliance) a consortium of over 150 companies and organisations, looked into data on employee demographics and workforce health indicators, including body mass index (BMI) distributions, eating and exercise habits, smoking rates and alcohol consumption.
It found that other initiatives, such as those designed to reduce stress, also benefit employees. Technology is also presenting some real opportunities, with for example, online platforms that offer employees a fully customized health and wellness resource and allow self-tracking as well as e-coaching, are one way to maximize workforce engagement.
In one example, the mulitnational company US Preventive Medicine (USPM) has created a web-based health management platform, The Prevention Plan, which has been implemented in both the US and the United Kingdom. So far, the health risk reductions in some 7,804 individuals that have participated in the Prevention Plans for two years has shown that 22.80% have significantly reduced their health risks.