Corporate Wellness Plans: Worth the Cost?
Corporate wellness programs seem like the thing to do when you’re an up-and-coming company striving to create a reputation of being that progressive employer everyone wants to work for. These programs certainly look good at first glance; after all, they foster camaraderie among employees who participate and encourage staff members to work towards their short and long-term health goals. But do they really make sense for the employer?
The human resources experts we talk to tell us that the big myth about corporate wellness programs is that they boost employee retention. “They really don’t,” one expert said recently. “When you consider how frequently today’s young professionals move from job to job, pouring resources into a company wellness program is hardly worth the investment.” And older employees? “They don’t always value these programs either,” the expert told us. “They tend to be more self-conscious about their wellness goals and would prefer to work on those things privately. Older professionals are very guarded about their personal lives now, especially when they’re new to a company.”
So no, corporate wellness programs don’t actually help companies retain employees. But do they save employers money? As corporate health plan experts, we have found the answer to be no. Companies that implement these programs spend more money on them than they’re worth: incentivizing employees with cash bonuses, gadgets and even vacations. Then there’s the loss in productivity that comes from employees sneaking in longer lunches for group walks, holding scheduled meetings to discuss their weight loss efforts, etc. It’s a slippery slope that many employers regret stepping on in the first place.
What we have found will save employers money on covering their employees, though, is the direct contracting healthcare model. By directly contracting with medical providers, employers can save up to 30% a year on healthcare costs. Letting the employees be in charge of their own health and using your resources to improve their coverage is a win-win. To learn more, contact GM&A at (325) 224-3245 for a free health plan consultation.