9 surprising benefits of employee wellness programs

Most job candidates now look for, and prioritize, companies with employee wellness programs.

As well as helping you attract more—and better quality—candidates, employee wellness programs can improve employee engagement and retention by reducing stress and lowering the risk of burnout.

What are employee wellness programs?

Employee wellness programs are schemes focused on supporting employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

They should contain a variety of options to support different needs. This could include:

  • Discounted gym membership or an in-house gym
  • Meditation app subscription
  • Discounted therapy
  • Nutritional education
  • Exercise classes
  • Stop smoking programs

The benefits of effective employee wellness programs

So, what benefits could your business experience as a result of employee wellness programs?

1. Get access to a wider talent pool

87% of employees consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.

Just offering one that aligns with your values, and that reflects what your target personas prioritize, can improve your employer brand. It’s a clear way to show the rest of the world that you value employee wellbeing and what your company culture is like.

2. Reduce absenteeism

Absenteeism occurs when someone takes time away from work for illness or non-illness related reasons, such as transportation or childcare.

If someone comes into the office with a cold, this can increase your absenteeism rate as they pass their germs on to others.

Educating employees on how to avoid spreading those germs to their colleagues (such as sneezing into their elbow, not their hand—or better yet not going into the office when they’re ill) is a simple way to reduce absenteeism. 

Introducing employee wellness programs reduces absenteeism by up to 19%. That’s a lot of working days that could boost your business.

3. Reduce healthcare costs

72% of employers saw a reduction in healthcare costs after implementing employee wellness programs.

And it makes sense—taking a proactive approach to health can reduce how much time, energy, and money we lose to managing existing and future health conditions. It can also help to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

4. Improve employee health habits

The reduction in absenteeism makes sense when you consider the difference preventative healthcare can make.

In his book, “Food for Life,” Professor Tim Spector says that diet could account for around half of common diseases. If everyone ate healthier, it could prevent or delay the disease burden of arthritis, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and even infertility.

Despite this, the British diet consists of more than 50% processed foods. In the US, processed foods make up 57% of the daily diet.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what makes something a processed food because we’re not taught it. So unless we actively seek out that information, how will we know how these foods could impact us?

Sharing with employees how to build healthy habits, and the benefits of those healthy habits, can help motivate them to take better care of their short- and long-term health.

Which means you get to experience all the benefits of their healthier lifestyles.

5. Get more engaged employees

Over 80% of employees whose employers are invested in their wellness say they enjoy work.

And, as we all know, when employees are more engaged, the business reaps the rewards.

6. Lower employee stress levels

Prioritizing wellbeing through exercise, meditation, or something else, reduces stress levels. 

And let’s not forget that when we show employees we value their mental health, they’re less likely to work to the point of stress or burnout. And they’re more likely to feel like they can talk to their manager if they’re having trouble.

7. Experience higher employee morale

Morale plays a big part in how effective employees are in their roles, and how they feel in the workplace environment.

If employee morale is high, it has a ripple effect on the rest of the business. It can improve your company culture and your employer brand, even boosting your customer service quality and reviews.

Investing in employee wellness programs, especially during times of transition, can ease the stress caused by significant changes and reassure employees who are struggling.

8. Increase employee productivity

Whether it’s hay fever, a mild cold, or an argument with a friend, there are lots of “minor” things that can impact employee productivity.

In the grand scheme of things, these issues may seem small, but they can feel gargantuan when someone experiences them. And they can have a huge impact on workplace productivity.

When employees are taught how to look after their physical and mental health, they have coping mechanisms in place that they can use when they’re having a rough day. As a result, they’ll feel more able to cope with difficult days and ask for accommodations if they need them.

And employee wellness programs really can make a big difference—84% of employers reported higher performance and productivity from their employees because of them.

9. Experience a six-to-one ROI

When you consider the increased productivity and lower absence rates, it should come as no surprise that the average return on investment (ROI) for employee wellness programs is six to one.


Investing in employee wellness programs can positively impact every area of your business.

In addition to growing your employer brand and company culture, it can also improve absenteeism and employee engagement, resulting in higher productivity and profits.

If you want to maximize the impact of your employee wellness programs, the first step is ensuring everyone knows about them! Providing access to important information, programs, groups, and events all in one place makes it easy for team members to get involved from day one.

Plus, with everything under one roof, you can easily track the impact of your employee wellness programs and compare across your initiatives. Sound interesting? If so, drop us a line at, or visit us online to learn more.

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