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The Benefits of Wellness Programs on Workers’ Compensation

Posted on: March 10, 2016 by Caitlin Morgan

Wellness programs have a direct impact on employee satisfaction, well-being, and productivity. In fact, compared to workers who are not offered wellness programs, employees who are offered wellness programs and participate in them are more likely to have a higher level of job satisfaction, feel happier with their employer, and are more satisfied with their overall benefits. In addition, employers with wellness programs that are focused on prevention combined with risk management and a commitment to customized employee communication can garner positive outcomes impacting their Workers’ Compensation program, safety results, and overall workplace environment.

Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between an effective wellness program and ROI. According to the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism (IHC), comprehensive analysis of numerous studies of worksite health promotion programs showed that firms that have implemented an effective wellness program realized significant cost reductions and financial gains, including:

  • an average of 28% reduction in sick days
  • an average of 26% reduction in health costs
  • an average of 30% reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management claim

Moreover, the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEPB) reports for every $1 spent on wellness, employers can expect to save up to $3 in healthcare costs. Harvard also concluded for every $1 invested in wellness, employers could expect to save approximately $3 in absenteeism costs.

Getting Employees Engaged

Essential in having an effective and successful wellness program is engaging and motivating employees to participate in a company program. Studies show that nearly seven out of 10 employees would participate in wellness programs if provided by their companies.  However, employees need to be aware that the success of any wellness program depends entirely on their level of participation and dedication. Offering incentives for good health behavior that both focuses on prevention and encourages healthy habits will allow employees to become active participants and take ownership of their health. Incentives centered around smoking cessation, healthy eating, physical activity and a drug free lifestyle are examples of preventative measures employers can take to create a prevention-based wellness program while also improving upon their Workers’ Compensation results.

In addition, it’s important to tie-in wellness with risk management to achieve optimum Workers’ Comp outcomes, such as lower workplace injury and illness rates. Over the last couple of years, there has been a trend to incorporate workplace wellness initiatives into risk management programs. NCCI findings, for example, indicate that obese employees who are injured are more likely to become permanently disabled and have higher medical claim costs. Wellness programs that help employees with healthy eating and gaining control over weight issues will have a direct impact on providing a safer work environment and help influence the success of transitional duty and return-to-work programs. Have a member of the wellness committee, usually spearheaded by HR, on an organization’s safety committee and vice versa. This will help promote program collaboration and keep both programs educated and updated on industry best practices.

Caitlin Morgan provides Workers’ Compensation insurance solutions to many industries as well as strong risk management programs to help drive down costs while maintaining a safe work environment and healthy, productive employees. For more information about our solutions, contact us at 877.226.1027.

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Posted in: blog Wellness Program Workers Comp Workers Compensation