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At first glance, it may seem that the prime benefits of wellness programs go to employees — you know, the ones who get to enjoy all of those gym memberships and massages. That, however, is only a part of the story. according to an investigation into wellness programs at multiple local companies completed by a Maine business magazine in 2013. Each company examined did warn that just any run of the mill wellness program won’t necessarily produce excellent results. And they all attested to the effectiveness of wellness programs that employed individually tailored strategies that could be tweaked throughout implementation.

Wellness Program Case in Point

For one company, developing a wellness program began with talks with their insurance provider. The insurance provider then shared the hard numbers about the company’s highest health risks. This reoriented the company into a more cost-minded mindset, encouraging them to move toward preventative care. From there, the company began incentivizing certain health measures, like taking advantage of biometric prescreening. They also brought in a wellness coach to work one-on-one with their highest risk employees. It helped to create a motivating and nurturing environment rather than a punishing one. Equally important was emphasizing outcomes and changing the culture, not just individual people.

Overall, wellness programs helped lower premiums and reduce the size of high risk pools. In addition, they also reduced absenteeism and turnover rates and improved productivity. In general, this tends to be all the more so when wellness programs are combined with a good ergonomic strategy for a completely preventative mindset.

Interested in learning more about this topic? We highly suggest reading the following article, Companies Find Payoffs in Wellness Programs, for an in-depth look at these fascinating case studies.