By Leslie Walbridge
Many HR departments have begun opting to include wellness programs as part of their companies’ benefits packages, but health and wellness consultant Vik Khanna questions the cost-effectiveness of these programs for employers. Specifically, Khanna explores the emphasis on early treatment by wellness programs.
“No concept is more controversial in medicine today than the timing of initiating treatment,” states Khanna. Our culture is one that tends toward screening for everything, but Khanna is not convinced that this practice has any practical or economical benefit. Worse, Khanna Claims, “we are injuring people by treating them early, and the wellness industry, takes a good part of the blame for this as they inappropriately medicalize US workplaces.”
It seems that the jury is still out on whether wellness programs are all they are cracked up to be, given the lack of consensus within the industry about the actual benefits of these programs. However, before you go out and chuck your wellness program, there is an additional factor to be considered: your reputation. If you have a good wellness program for your employees, it contributes to your company’s culture and how you are viewed as an employer. These attributes will attract higher quality candidates to fill open positions. Additionally, your current employees will have higher job satisfaction, which will result in higher retention rates. Finally, you are likely to bring in more business if you are seen as an employer who takes good care of your employees.