Report: Two-thirds of CEOs approve of expanding health and wellness plans

Stethoscope and globe
Reducing healthcare costs can be a benefit of health and wellness programs. (Image: Getty/sunstock)

CEOs are recognizing that good health goes hand in hand with solid work, and they are having their human resource departments do more with health and wellness programs.

Two-thirds of HR managers (66%) reported their organization has expanded their health and wellness offerings in the past five years, according to a survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam. These efforts haven't gone unnoticed: 89% of workers said their company is supportive of their wellness goals.

Health and wellness programs start at the top, with CEOs giving their nod to them or, when money is involved, approving the expense authorization.

“HR proposes them, but the CEO makes the decisions,” Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam, told FierceCEO.

“This benefits CEOs by helping them retain their employees and attract good ones,” Britton said.

This is especially important given the very strong job market, Britton said. Also, health and wellness programs can help bring down healthcare costs and time lost to sick days,

HR managers were also asked to name the most innovative thing they've heard of a company doing to support employee health and wellness. Some of their responses:

  • Paying employees extra money if they don't check work email while on vacation
  • Offering onsite exercise, meditation, yoga and healthy cooking classes
  • Providing free massages
  • Having a nurse's department in the office
  • Giving workers fitness tracking devices
  • Offering onsite personal trainers

What employees had to say

Workers cited food at office celebrations (30%) and snacks brought in by colleagues (22%) as the biggest obstacles to meeting health and wellness goals.

More than 2 in 5 workers (44%) said they eat healthier when they work from home. Of all respondent groups, male employees (53%) and those ages 18 to 34 (55%) reported this most often.

Three in five employees (60%) bring their lunch to the office. Women (73%) and workers ages 55 and older (75%) are most likely to pack their meals.

While more than half of employees (54%) are fans of the office candy jar, one-third (33%) have a love-hate relationship with it. Men (61%) and workers ages 18 to 34 (62%) are especially enthusiastic about this supply of sweets.