Corporate Wellness Programs Thriving in U.S.

by: Nichole Gunn July 28, 2011

Taking the ‘ever-rising healthcare costs’ on, Lincoln Industries initiated a health and wellness program that is translating into noteworthy benefits. CFO magazine reported that the new corporate program is for the metal-finishing firm’s 400 workers.

Employee wellness strategies are not new to the Nebraska-based company. Lincoln has been implementing and working on enhancing a number of wellness initiatives for over 10 years now. It began with the recruitment of a savvy wellness manager who employed corporate wellness projects such as: on-site masseuses, on-site physical therapists, tobacco-free grounds, and quarterly worker physicals and check-ups. Along with this, Lincoln also offers yearly mountain-climbing trips.

The corporate wellness program has translated into “a five-to-one return on investment (ROI)”, noted Lincoln’s chief financial officer Andy Hunzinger. This ROI includes the expenses related to paying for a wellness staff and giving employee rewards to workers who reach fitness/wellness objectives.

According to Hunzinger, the company saves about $2 million annually as a direct result of the wellness initiative. He noted that approximately 50 percent of that saving is a result of reduced health insurance expenses that are below average. CFO also reported that Lincoln is regularly $3,000, or thereabouts, under the national health insurance average per worker. In addition, the company saves about $4,000 annually for each worker who stops smoking, and also saves on employee absenteeism and retention, with rates, again, lower than average.

Talking to the magazine about the company’s wellness efforts Hunzinger said, "We really believe in (wellness), and that's who we are." He added that the program’s effectiveness is in part due to the involvement of senior management. It’s not unusual for the upper level to be part of multi-mile hikes and group exercises. “At least once a month, the senior team does some sort of rigorous physical exercise." Leadership by example is important for a successful wellness program. “If you're a three-pack-a-day smoker, don't expect your company to be wellness focused."

Another company, NCCI Holdings based in Boca Raton, Florida, is also using an employee incentive program to foster a more fit and healthy workforce, reported  TCPalm.

Taking a queue from the National Employee Health & Fitness Day, NCCI initiated a program wherein workers are permitted to wear workout clothes to the workplace. They are also given stamps for their participation in a number of health-related activities, including: climbing the stairs, eating a healthy cafeteria lunch, and being part of a group fitness class. The stamps are entered in a raffle that offers various prizes, such as gym bags, sporting store gift cards, and yoga mats.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.