More Employers Turning to Wellness Programs


In order to drive profitability and performance, 87% of employers relied on wellness programs in 2012, up from 75% in 2010, according to the latest report from Buck Consultants.

The report, titled “Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” finds employers from all locations say improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism (at work while sick) are their top wellness program objectives.

“With productivity having a direct tie to bottom-line revenue, organizations now consider health promotion as a core business value that positively impacts their ability to compete,” said Dave Ratcliffe, principal of Cincinnati-based Buck Consultants. “With signs of job market improvement emerging in the U.S., employers will be challenged to maintain productivity gains earned during the recession as employees have increased job mobility.”

Only 36% of respondents report measuring specific outcomes of their wellness programs. Reasons respondents fail to do so are lack of resources at 68% and not knowing how to measure at 34%. Respondents from larger organizations are more likely to measure outcomes.

Still, only 47% of respondents from organizations with at least 20,000 employees measure specific outcomes, Buck Consultants said. Among respondents who measure wellness program outcomes, 30% say they placed greater emphasis on wellness programs during the tough economy.

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