The value of workplace wellness to organizations has long been questioned. Over the years, studies have been conducted utilizing a variety of approaches to measure wellness program results. Three studies were recently published that examined the overall financial performance of companies that invest in employee health and all three found that, in fact, there is a correlation between effective workplace health promotion and overall financial performance.
A study conducted by The Health Project (www.thehealthproject.com
) examined stock performance of companies awarded the C. Everett Koop National Health Award from 1999 to 2014. Study authors compared the results of investing in S&P 500 companies during that time period to that of investing in companies achieving the Koop award. The award-winning companies would have produced double the returns of the S&P 500.
A second study examined the financial performance of 17 companies who applied for or received the Corporate Health Achievement Award during the period of 2001 to 2014. Investment simulations with these companies were compared to the average returns in the S&P 500. In the highest-performing scenario, CHAA companies achieved returns triple that of the S&P 500. In the lowest-performing scenario, CHAA companiesí returns were double that of the S&P 500. More information is available at https://www.acoem.org/outperform.aspx
The third study was performed by HERO (www.hero-health.org
). It followed the stock performance of 45 companies that achieved high scores on the HERO Scorecard over a six-year period, from 2009 through 2014. The Scorecard rates companiesí evidence-based workplace health promotion practices. In this study, the stock values of the 45 companies from the HERO Scorecard appreciated by 235% over six years compared to 159% for the S&P 500 portfolio.
Study authors have noted that this correlation may be traced back to the shift in motivation for employers embracing wellness from the pursuit of tangible results like lower health care costs to more intangible benefits such as improved recruitment and retention of employees and higher employee satisfaction rates. Investors also seem to be more interested in companies that are socially responsible and treat their people well.
Itís important to note that these studies find correlation, but do not claim causation, and that there is no short-term solution for creating the type of supportive and wellness-minded organizational culture found in these companies. But for those who have embraced health promotion, this is a significant realization.
On a separate note
following last monthís article about issuance of final EEOC regulations, a sample notice is now available from the EEOC. For more information, see the news release
which contains links to the sample notice and a brief FAQ describing the notice requirement and guidance for use of the notice.
Take the next step
Want to make a real difference in your organizationís wellness program? Complete your bachelorís degree online with University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management
. And, beginning this fall (pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission), the Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management will be an option for those seeking a graduate-level degree.
By Theresa Islo, program manager for the University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management