Survey: 78% of companies worldwide support wellness programs


In further evidence that insurers should build and promote wellness programs to their large market groups, 78 percent of companies across the globe are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture focused on health, according to a new survey conducted by Buck Consultants.

The survey, which questioned 1,000 organizations in 37 countries, noted that 65 percent find wellness programs extremely or very important when attracting and retaining employees.

"When we began this survey in 2007, employers were focused on basic health promotion activities," Dave Ratcliffe, principal for Buck Consultants, said in a statement. "Today, our sixth survey shows an evolution in employer thinking to a much more holistic and measurable approach."

However, employers reported struggling to effectively recruit their workers to participate in wellness programs. Simply offering a wellness program isn't enough to ensure employee sign up; insurers must work with employers to help educate workers about the existence of the programs and the benefits of participating, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Despite the challenges of motivating employees to participate, surveyed companies reported they're nonetheless committed to implementing wellness programs. That's largely because of the high health-related costs incurred by employers.

So far, employers have seen the most success with using flexible work arrangements and paid time off to entice their workers into joining wellness programs. And the top areas employers focus on in their wellness programs are stress, exercise and diet, the survey found.

"Workers' wellness is now viewed as a state of well-being across the spectrum of health, wealth, and career," Ratcliffe added. "Wellness is part of the employee value proposition. Social media, gamification, mobile technology, automated coaching and personalized communication are all part of the mix."

To learn more:
- read the survey

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