Did you know 83 percent of American employees are stressed by at least one thing at work? Have you heard that people with diabetes lose more than eight days per year from work, accounting for 14 million disability days? Or worker stress accounts for 20 percent of direct costs and is associated with high job turnovers, strikes, work barriers, and absenteeism?
Our health affects our work, and our work impacts our health. Americans spend most of their time at work, which is why their employers are in a unique position to create a culture of health and wellness in the workplace. It’s a shift in culture that requires support from senior management down to the employee base.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Winning with Wellness Report, a majority of employers—about 87 percent—are committed to workplace wellness, and 73 percent even offer a wellness program. In another study, more than 60 percent of employers that offered a workplace wellness program said they reduced their organizations’ healthcare costs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports the return on investment for an employee wellness program is $1.50 for every $3 spent over a two- to nine-year window. Other benefits include increased job performance, overall well-being, and happy and thriving employees who contribute to business and community goals and success.
A well-designed employee wellness program or culture of health can motivate employees to make healthy changes. The result can be healthcare savings—for both the employee and employer—plus more engaged, happier workers.
Some employers prioritize self-care to help manage stress and boost their employees’ feelings of self-worth and confidence. Others work to address and prevent burnout by encouraging mid-day breaks, offering flexible schedules, or supporting the use of paid time off. Others provide employee wellness programs with activities like wellness seminars, discounts for healthy foods and fitness services, and free onsite screenings and prevention training. Incentives may be offered as well to increase employee involvement.
What’s Happening in Maryland?
LiveWell Frederick believes workplace wellness is an effective way to address the rise of chronic diseases—from diabetes to heart disease—and other health conditions that can contribute to illness, accidents, and work absences. That’s why we’re excited to welcome our newest partner, Healthiest Maryland Businesses, that engages leaders to commit to maximizing health and wellness where their employees work, live, and learn.
Healthiest Maryland Businesses is a no-cost resource for employers who value employee health and well-being. Top performing employers recognize that workplaces that support employees’ minds, bodies, and spirits are often more successful and, quite frankly, better places to work!
Each year, the Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness@Work Awards recognize Maryland employers for their accomplishments in worksite health promotion. Applications are reviewed and scored by staff of Healthiest Maryland Businesses. Employers may earn a Gold, Silver, Bronze, or On the Path award based on their commitment to establishing leadership support for wellness, creating wellness committees, surveying the needs and interests of their employees, setting health improvement goals, and developing monitoring tools to track outcomes over time.
Here are just a few of the businesses recognized this year:
- Battelle National Biodefense Institute
- Fahrney-Keedy Senior Living Community
- Frederick County Health Department
- Frederick County Public Schools
- Frederick Memorial Hospital
- Hood College
- Legal & General America
- Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.
- Montgomery County Government
- Montgomery County Public Schools
- Nymeo Federal Credit Union
- Plamondon Companies
On June 7, these businesses and more were recognized during the 10th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium in Baltimore. (You can check out the complete list of Maryland businesses recognized this year here.)
Want to learn more about workplace health and wellness opportunities in Frederick County? Let’s talk! Together, we’ll make sure your employees have the resources they need to LiveWell.