Implementing a Wellness Plan in the Workplace

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As the owner of my small dental hygiene practice, I come across many reasons why people don’t come in for regular care.  One of the most frequent excuses is taking time away from work.  Many people would rather not dip into their PTO or vacation time to take care of their personal health needs.

My husbands employer has rolled out a “wellness program” for their 100 employees, that I find refreshing.  An employee can schedule their medical and dental appointment on the same day and not come to work.  With proof that they went to the appointment, they receive an additional PTO day.

On top of the one free day, they can get another if they show they participated in volunteer work or supporting a cause for a day.  If they run in a cancer awareness 5K, they get a day off added to their time (limit one per year).  The company encourages a monthly group hike, pays a dollar amount that can be used towards a gym membership, weight loss program or home exercise equipment.

Why as a business owner is it beneficial for a company to offer a wellness program?  Healthy employees miss less work.  If people are encouraged to participate in their own wellness, prevention becomes the norm.  Imagine not having employees miss work because of a tooth ache, that could have been printed with regular dental cleanings. Or an employee who does not miss several days of work because they were able to get a flu vaccination.

An article published by The Harvard Business Review discusses that major companies like Johnson and Johnson have saved millions of dollars over the last decade by implementing wellness programs.  Another study showed that every dollar invested yielded $6 in health care savings.

So, is a wellness program the right fit for your company?  It might be worth visiting the idea!