healthy-employeesBusiness executives and managers are missing out if they look at worksite health and wellness programs only as opportunities for medical cost savings.

Healthy Employees are Better Employees

The reality is healthy employees are better employees, and that has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

A study done a few years ago by benefits consultant Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health found that companies with the most effective health and productivity programs experienced 11 percent higher revenue per employee and 28 percent higher shareholder returns.

We’ve had a similar experience at Marathon Health. Across our book of business, we’ve found ROIs up to 6:1 for clients when factoring in reductions in presenteeism, turnover rate, and saved time away from work, in addition to hard-dollar metrics such as redirected primary care and reduction in work loss days.

Healthy employees are more engaged in their work, more effective and more efficient. And it works both ways. A recent Gallup poll found that American workers who are engaged in their work and workplace are more likely to report a healthier lifestyle than their counterparts who are not engaged or who are actively disengaged.

At our client Lincoln Industries, a national leader in employee health and wellness, they have fully integrated wellness into every aspect of their company's culture because they know it’s an important business driver.

Considering the ROI on Health

Lincoln found a direct correlation between well-being and work performance. Individuals with the highest well-being scores also had the highest ratings in overall job performance. At Lincoln, employees look at improving their health as a way of improving the company.

A fascinating study related to this concept was published two years ago in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The study, The Link Between Workforce Health and Safety and the Health of the Bottom Line, looked at the stock market performance of Corporate Health Achievement Award winners under four different scenarios using past market performance. The results were that these nationally-recognized companies generally outperformed the market.

This chart below takes a look at the portfolios of these award-winning companies (excluding outliers) vs. the S&P 500. 


As you can see, the companies recognized for their health programs performed significantly better than 500 of the largest companies in America.

Below is the conclusion from the study’s authors:

 “A portfolio of companies recognized as award-winning for their approach to the health and safety of their workforce outperformed the market. This may have identified an association without a causal relationship, or it may reflect the idea that companies that focus on the health and safety of their workforce manage other aspects of their business equally well. Nevertheless, the literature increasingly links the health of a workforce to its safety and performance. More research needs to be done to better understand the value of building “cultures of health” at the workplace. Although “smart” companies may simply outperform, the evidence seems to be building that healthy workforces provide a competitive financial advantage in the marketplace.”

Definitely something to consider when evaluating onsite health services.