Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wellness programs’ role in retention cited by nearly half of U.S. workers

Employee Benefit Adviser
Posted January 15, 2010 by Editorial Staff at 03:07PM.
Are wellness programs an effective employee retention tool? The results of a poll released Jan. 14 suggests that they are. In all, 45% of the employees surveyed said they would stay at their jobs longer because of the wellness programs their employers offered.
The online survey, sponsored by The Principal Financial Group, polled 1,102 employees at small and medium-sized companies (under 1,000 employees) and 602 retirees. It was conducted in late October.
The survey also found that 26% of employees miss fewer days of work because they participate in wellness programs. Just over half believe that wellness programs are very or somewhat successful in reducing health care costs, and about 30% participate primarily for that reason.
Most employees are interested in wellness programs that improve their physical fitness, the survey found. Onsite fitness facilities were the most desired programs at 27%, followed by fitness center discounts (23%) and weight management programs (19%). Apparently at least some employers were listening last year: Significantly more workers (15%) reported having access to fitness facilities in the fourth quarter of 2009 than a year earlier (11%).