An EWP, or Employee Wellness Program, is a series of well-defined activities and policies designed to encourage health and wellness in your employees. The goal of the program isn’t to force your employees into an unwanted exercise or diet program, but to provide them with information about health they may not be aware of, allowing them to make better-informed choices regarding their own lifestyles, health, and safety.
For an EWP to be effective, it should include the following three things:
- An overall health risk assessment questionnaire given to individual employees
- Biometric testing (blood pressure, glucose, BMI, etc.) should be provided to identify any existing or early warning signs of potentially dangerous diseases
- Behavior modification programs offered once testing is complete to assist those who are at higher risk
The difference between healthy and unhealthy employees is significant. For example, employees who are at high risk of depression often cost a company 70% more than those who are not, while those at risk for high stress can cost a company 46% more than other employees. The greater expense doesn’t necessarily come from treating depression or stress but from production losses associated with these problems. Employees in these situations tend to lose focus often, have lower response times, and may exhibit risky behavior.
When it comes to physical injuries, obese employees have an average recovery time 13 times longer than non-obese employees, and 11 times the indemnity cost.
An effective EWP that helps employees live healthier, happier lives can seriously reduce your workmans compensation insurance costs due to the simple fact that they’re less likely to get injured or suffer from work-related illness. Additionally, some insurance companies will offer a discount to businesses that develop and employ and EWP.