Business Tools

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

By Amelia Zwecher

Workplace wellness programs may help to lower and control health care spending.

It’s a common myth that corporations and other large businesses often host wellness programs, but small businesses do not.

Compliant wellness programs may help to lower and control health care spending. The New York Times stated that wellness programs have grown into a $6 billion industry because employers believe the efforts help employees and the bottom line. For a small business, offering a wellness program can pay off handsomely. Many employers report that health-conscious employees are absent less frequently, are more productive in the workplace and have fewer doctor visits.

There are many types of wellness programs available for small businesses. They include:

  • Year-long or less fitness programs that allow employees to partake in friendly competition.
  • Vending machines with healthy snack options.
  • Asking for employee feedback.
  • Setting up a rewards program with monetary or non-monetary forms of recognition.
  • Offering Lunch ‘n’ Learn workshops/webinars.
  • Hosting an annual physical activity campaign (i.e., soccer, baseball, volleyball or a bowling tournament).
  • Designating a company wellness leader to help keep the program’s momentum.

Wellness programs can also improve employee retention. Employees are empowered when they feel appreciated and acknowledged.

To learn more about wellness programs, visit the newly launched HR Hub, which offers expert advice and material. Read more about the HR Hub if you missed last week’s SEMA eNews announcement.

For more information, contact Manager of Career Services Amelia F. Zwecher, PhD, PHR at