It is a well-documented fact that a majority of large companies (businesses with over 8,000 employees) offer health & wellness programs to their employees to keep their employees healthy, motivated, and productive while also lowering their healthcare costs (1). Employees at mid-sized firms (businesses with anywhere from 1,000 to 8,000 employees) can also benefit from effective wellness programs, but such programs at mid-sized firms haven’t been as ubiquitous, until recently (2).
Small and mid-size companies may be wary of corporate wellness programs as healthcare costs at such firms may be smaller than at larger firms, and, thusly, the initial costs of an employee wellness program may be seen as too large. Indeed, mid-size companies that do offer wellness programs often offer smaller incentives to their employees than large companies in order to keep down costs (2), a factor that could limit the effectiveness of their programs.
The lower incentives offered by mid-sized companies can make sense if the business does not have the same amount of capital to invest in health & wellness programs that a large company may have. However, the benefits of implementing comprehensive employee wellness programs can justify the expense of corporate wellness consulting, as the rate of return on investment in such programs can be two-fold or higher (1).
It is with this in mind that Colorado healthcare providers have created a new health plan specifically for small to mid-size companies that rewards them with lower premiums and employee incentives for effective implementation and enrollment in wellness programs (3). While this new healthcare plan was launched in response to a Colorado state law that encourages mid-size companies to offer wellness programs, there are also similar incentives offered in the national healthcare reform law that passed earlier this year (4).
Mid-size companies need wellness programs that are designed to match up with the company’s development cycle. While this may mean a smaller program due to the company’s financial situation, in reality, every company needs an employee wellness program tailored to that company’s specific needs. Appropriate corporate wellness consulting, consisting of executive and employee consulting, company assessments, and measured implementation, should provide a program that fits well for any company no matter its size.
Mid-size companies have an opportunity, with the encouragement of state and national laws, to realize the savings and increased employee productivity that effective wellness programs have been proven to provide (5). While mid-size and small companies may lag behind in their use of wellness programs, don’t expect that to last for too much longer.
(2) http://www.hr.com (click here for specific article, link too long)