You probably know that exercising and eating right can do wonders for your overall health. But a new study shows that encouraging your veterinary practice employees to engage in these behaviors could benefit your practice’s finances as well.
A study in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows that an employee wellness program produces a short-term return on investment of $1.17 per dollar spent. The program, called Healthyroads, is designed to reduce weight and improve health risk factors in obese employees. And according to a University of Georgia study, it works.
Researchers analyzed a group of 890 overweight or obese employees participating in the program. The workers received coaching and other services to support their weight-loss efforts, improve eating habits, and increase physical activity. Over one year, the participants saw reductions in seven of 10 health risk factors, including poor eating habits and poor physical activity. The average participant lost about 10 pounds, with a body mass index reduction of 0.9.
To study the financial impact of the program, the researchers used a recently developed ROI model, which projected a total savings of nearly $312,000. About 60 percent of the savings resulted from reduced health care spending; the remaining 40 percent resulted from improvements in employee productivity. The total cost of the Healthyroads program averaged $300 per employee per year.
By instituting a wellness program, your short-term ROI may be modest, but the difference in employee health and morale could be significant. Your employees’ bottoms will shrink while your practice’s bottom line grows.