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Increasing Company Profitability with Wellness Programs

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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In today's corporate landscape, employee health is a top priority for organizations seeking to maintain a productive and thriving workforce. With conditions like diabetes affecting millions across the United States, the need for proactive measures to address health issues has never been more critical.

The Financial Impact of Employee Wellness

Investing in employee wellness yields significant returns for organizations. Studies1 have shown that for every dollar spent on wellness programs:

  • $3.27 is saved in medical costs
  • $2.73 is saved in absenteeism costs
  • $3.48 is returned in health care costs
  • $5.82 is returned in absenteeism costs
  • $4.30 is returned in combined health care and absenteeism costs

Take Johnson and Johnson for example: their physical, mental, and financial health program has seen a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent. By investing in wellness, the company has helped their employees quit smoking and adopt an active lifestyle, leading to increased productivity and decreased employee healthcare costs.

The Role of Health and Wellness Programs

According to the CDC, nearly 38.4 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes, with an additional 97.6 million individuals having prediabetes. The economic burden of diabetes is staggering, with costs soaring to $412.9 billion in 2022. Alarmingly, the majority of these costs are shouldered by government insurance groups like Medicare and Medicaid.

Health and wellness programs serve as a cornerstone in the fight against conditions like diabetes. By focusing on prevention and proactive health management, these programs empower employees to take control of their well-being and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Prevention Strategies

Companies implementing health and wellness programs often incorporate preventive measures such as regular health screenings and wellness presentations. These initiatives educate employees on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and provide valuable information on managing conditions like diabetes.

Healthy Incentives

One effective strategy within health and wellness programs is the use of healthy incentives. Employers may reward employees for meeting health goals, such as achieving weight loss targets or lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. By offering incentives, organizations encourage participation and reinforce positive health behaviors.

Compliance with Healthcare Regulations

The Affordable Care Act has prompted employers to prioritize employee health by imposing penalties on expensive benefit plans. To avoid these penalties and promote wellness, companies are investing in initiatives like after-work exercise groups and morning yoga classes. These small adjustments not only contribute to employee health but also help organizations navigate regulatory requirements.

Implementing Wellness Strategies

Employers can leverage wellness incentives like gift cards to encourage healthy behaviors among employees. Retailers like CVS®, and The Vitamin Shoppe® offer options for employees to purchase healthy items, supporting their journey toward better health.


Incorporating health and wellness programs into corporate strategies is not only beneficial for employees' well-being but also for the organization's bottom line. By prioritizing employee health and offering incentives for wellness, companies can foster a culture of health, productivity, and success.

Remember, a healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Invest in your employees' health today for a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow.


1. Baicker, K., Cutler, D. M., & Song, Z. (2010). Workplace wellness programs can generate savings. Health Affairs, 29(2), 304–311. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0626

Topics: Workplace Health & Wellness, Employee Engagement, Employee Incentives & Rewards

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