Small Business Wellness Programs and Return On Investment (ROI)

It’s relatively agreed upon that reducing health costs is the head reason behind small business wellness programs. i lately wrote about implementing wellness programs so they can reduce overall company health care costs. However, the prices that include it are frequently a barrier for organizations – especially for smaller businesses.

According to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, only 7 percent of companies with 3-49 employees have a wellness program. Even so, the survey showed that 61 percent of businesses strongly or somewhat agree that wellness programs can directly impact corporate profitability.

So how can small businesses make the case for themselves that these programs are worth implementing?

It’s all about ROI (return on investment).

Showing the value of Small Business Wellness Programs

A study by Health Affairs found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for each dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for each dollar spent.

Another study by Harvard Business Review of several wellness programs shows a transparent impact. Within the Harvard study, one company saw a return of $2.71 on every dollar spent on wellness programs, and cumulative savings of $250 million on health care costs in a decade. Another reported an 80 percent decline in lost work days over six years, with a savings calculated of $1.5 million, consisting of workers’ compensation insurance premiums having declined by 50 percent.

Determining the value of Small Business Wellness Programs

Measuring the return on investment from small business wellness programs is a challenge. In truth, the Aflac study showed that only three out of 10 companies (32 percent) have managed to take action.

Each small business is different. I’m not likely to pretend to understand the nuances of your specific business and the way a wellness program could deliver ROI in your particular situation.

However, we’ve identified a number of measurements that could help companies determine program successes which may provide valuable perspectives.

Benefits Engagement and Knowledge


Employees enrolled in small business wellness programs usually tend to be familiar with benefits options and health care. Also they are prone to be engaged of their benefits programs and choices.

Surveying benefits knowledge, understanding and overall engagement can show a right away link to a company’s investment in benefits packages and efforts to market those benefits options.

Employee Satisfaction and Morale


The Aflac study identified that employees who’re enrolled in worksite wellness programs are more satisfied with their jobs and benefits packages, and likewise express more confidence of their employers.

These measures could have a critical impact on a company’s final analysis. Whether by measuring employee tenure and retention, or employee referrals, understanding worker satisfaction and morale may help show the iconic value of a company’s wellness initiatives.

Employee Well-Being

The Aflac study reveals employees that perform small business wellness programs are greater than 10 percent prone to say they’re healthy because they exercise and eat right (41 percent when compared with 30 percent).

Financial Security


Likewise, financial security is important to overall workforce health. The Aflac study found only 16 percent of employees say they’re extremely or very prepared to pay for out-of-pocket expenses linked to serious illness or injury.

Tracking overall employee health and wellness is important to understanding a program’s success. Measuring a decline in sick days or unexpected leave can assist to realize a great measure of physical, emotional and monetary health.

Wellness Photo via Shutterstock

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