A mean and lean business machine is the way most companies are strategizing in this economic turmoil, but economizing on wellness programs is not the path to take.
According to a post at Bakersfield.com, Holly Culhane, president of the human resources consulting company P.A.S Associates, emphasized that recent studies all suggest that cutting costs through employee wellness incentives is, “penny wise and pound foolish".
One of the studies Culhane cites is from research at the University of Rochester. The findings support other studies that show “stressful workplace conditions to be a contributing factor to weight gain and obesity.” Along with this, she went on to discuss another study conducted at MetLife, involving employee benefits. This study demonstrates that initiating and maintaining health and wellness programs is very likely to be a win-win situation, benefiting to both employees and employers.
While in the planning stage of an employee wellness program, Culhane advises to take note of employees who do not fit into generic programs. There may be some workers who suffer from unrelated lifestyle health issues. She states, “Crafting an effective and fair employee wellness program can be achieved through the efforts of a company’s well-informed staff, working with a human resources consultant."
In a report earlier this year, CNN described benefits of the new healthcare reform legislation. The government is providing sound incentives for companies to incorporate wellness programs into their business strategy. The Department of Health and Human Resources is offering grants for eligible companies who jump in and create such a program.