Who wouldn’t want to keep their workforce as healthy as possible? Doesn’t mean you want to spend more than you have to to do it.
Wellness programs are no passing fad – they’re one of the few strategies companies have consistently embraced to chip away at high healthcare costs in recent years.
One major flaw with wellness programs? The payoff is often slow to see. And that makes it tough to justify pumping a ton of money into wellness initiatives, when it could take years to see the fruits of the efforts.
Still, companies should want to dedicate dollars to this healthcare savings strategy.
To get an idea of how much other companies are spending to get employees healthier – and just what they’re spending on, take a look at these new benchmarks from Buck Consultants.
The magic number: 220
Certainly you don’t want to overspend on your wellness program, no matter how formal or informal it is at this point. But underspending could rob you of payoff, too.
To hit upon the happy medium, compare what you currently spend on wellness to this: On average, companies paid $220 per employee for wellness last year. That’s a big jump from the $163 they forked over in 2009 says Buck Consultants.
If your number is significantly higher than that, you’re one of the few – a scant 11% of companies spend more than $500 on wellness per person annually.
So what’s worth spending on?
Since your company is going to end up opening its wallet anyway, why not direct the dollars in the most fruitful ways possible? The three most popular, according to Buck:
- gifts or merchandise to reward employees for healthy behaviors (49%)
- discounts and subsidies for preventative health services, like annual physicals (49%), and
- raffles or prize drawings in health-driven contests or competitions (47%).