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Workplace Wellness: Financial Benefits of a Workplace Wellness Program 

Research has shown that only 20% of people are intrinsically motivated for wellness in the workplace. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within. This means that the other 80% need some form of external motivation or incentive for behavior change.

An effective wellness program will continuously enhance motivation by providing incentives and provide opportunities for employers to learn and practice the skills associated with the new wellness-focused behaviors that are being targeted with the program. A strong, results-driven workplace wellness program has the potential to create long-lasting financial benefits for the employer by lowering health plan costs, absenteeism costs, workers’ compensation costs, and presenteeism costs.   

Health Plan Costs 

According to the National Health Expenditure Accounts, in 2022, healthcare spending in the United States increased by 4.1% bringing the total cost to almost $4.5 trillion, or $13,493 per person. Even more alarming, at least a quarter of these healthcare costs are due to preventable diseases. Most healthcare spending goes to prescription drugs, outpatient hospital costs, inpatient hospital costs, doctor visits, and other outpatient care. However, with a successful workplace wellness program, many common chronic diseases can be prevented or addressed and health care costs can drastically decrease.  


Sometimes we get sick and need to take a sick day or two; it happens. However, absenteeism refers to habitually missing work for extended periods of time. There are many causes for absenteeism and research has shown that since the Covid-19 pandemic, employees are taking more and more time off due to stress, depression, and burnout. Absenteeism can not only cause workload problems for an employer, but it can also lead to financial burdens. However, just like with health plan costs, absenteeism costs can drastically decrease with a successful workplace wellness program that focuses on employee’s mental health and stress levels. 

Workers’ Compensation Costs 

According to the National Safety Council, in 2021, the average cost of a worker’s compensation claim in the United States was $41,757. Workers’ compensation costs by cause range from $20,000 for “cut/punch/scrape” claims up to $90,000 for “motor vehicle” injury claims. Not all workers’ compensation costs can be prevented; however, a supportive wellness culture and a wellness program that focuses on the safety and well-being of employees will help minimize risks on job sites and could potentially help lower costs by creating a stronger workforce. 


Presenteeism occurs when an employee shows up to work, but their job performance is impaired. For example, showing up to work sick, burnt out, or in physical pain would lead to presenteeism because the employee is physically at work, but will not be as productive as they need to be. Interestingly, one way to help prevent presenteeism is to encourage employees to take a “mental health day”. Not only does this show the employee that they are being cared for, but it also allows the employee time to decompress. Once again, a successful wellness program with a supportive wellness culture can help address and prevent burn out and stress, both physical and mental.  


A successful workplace wellness program implements a sustainable plan according to the needs of the workplaces’ population. There are many possible wellness domains that a program could focus on and include physical, mental, financial, emotional, social, professional, and spiritual. Creating a wellness culture in the workplace and addressing specific wellness needs will financially benefit the organization in many different ways. The organization could potentially obtain lower health plan, absenteeism, workers’ compensation, and presenteeism costs. More importantly, the employees’ health and wellbeing will benefit from a wellness culture and a successful wellness program. 


Wellness Workdays can guide you on a path to implementing a successful wellness program. Contact us to learn more about our services.

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