Human Resource & Leadership for Small Business Blog

Employee Wellness Programs: Outsourcing to Your Wellness Team

Posted on Wed, Mar 07, 2012

Did You Know That…“Presenteeism costs actually far exceed the costs of absenteeism and other health-related losses incurred by organizations?”

According to this SHRM Foundation Executive Briefing: Wellness Strategies to Improve Employee Health, Performance and the Bottom Line.

In The Past…
In the past companies were concerned by poor health and the health risk factors including excess weight, poor diet, smoking, lack of daily exercise, etc. It was recognized that it affected both medical costs and work performance.

Companies who did nothing to help their employees often saw increases in absenteeism, increase in worker’s compensation rates/incidences, to mention a couple of challenges.

Employee wellness programs could have looked like a health club membership offered to employees with the company offering its employees a discount or other financial incentive to participate. In days gone by before the new healthcare laws and skyrocketing costs…a minority of larger companies might have installed a gym onsite, in the hopes that some of their employees would use the services and become healthier.

employee wellnessToday…
Today, the wellness programs need to involve not only human resources, but benefits, wellness, safety, medical and other managers to be effective. According to this same SHRIM Foundation Executive Briefing. They are not a stand alone or single component solutions, but more holistic now. The article goes on to say that “This holistic approach involves physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects.”

Today, if you don’t have a company culture, philosophy, etc for creating and maintaining wellness…you may not be helping your workforce to be at its best while at work. OR you may be experiencing higher levels of presenteeism and absenteeism, the SHRM Executive Briefing goes on to say.

What Has Changed…???
Another aspect to consider with regards to employee wellness programs and can be an extension of any wellness program, is to offer services to your employees that can enhance their productivity even further.  Once employees are feeling better, are toning up. Losing weight and becoming more active and healthier….productivity should go up. What goes hand in hand with enhancing productivity is when employees feel better they AND look better….productivity can be increased even more.

Some companies are looking at offering an incentive for employees like their sales force, or managers, etc. to get a business image makeover or enhancement. During the process of losing weight, the employee will feel better if they are looking good as well.

So, how does this employee look good while going through this transformation process? I would suggest a professional business image consultant who can come in and offer various programs that would help the employee to transition their business “look” with their newly found healthier life style! It is a WIN- WIN for employer and employee.

Today and going forward it is not IF you will offer a wellness program for your employees, it is a matter of what it will look like.

Going Forward…
A good image consultant can also make suggestions to the appropriateness of their clothing style and personal brand…which can also help with employee retention.Another important concern for employers. Employers have had challenges promoting employees who just don’t have the appropriate image that the next step in career advancement requires within their organizations. This image enhancement program could effectively kill two birds (unhealthy and inappropriately dressed employee) with one stone and can be a part of your wellness team.  For more information.

Outsourcing to your Wellness Team ….
One way to put together an effective employee wellness program is to do it all on your own and have your staff handle it all. If you do not have the resources internally, you may want to find a wellness team and outsource to a group of niche specialists who provide these services. They will coordinate it all for you through a selection of services that can be customized to fit your company. Either way, it is becoming more critical for organizations of all sizes to have a holistic program to support wellness, if they are to contain their healthcare costs. A good wellness team will include a business image consultant as well.

If you work with a group of trained providers and they can offer you services on site that are cost effective and will work with you to implement, it can be a step to streamline and consolidate your employee wellness program to maximize your return on investment and enhance your company’s bottom line.

accurate resource group incFor over 30 years, Accurate Resource Group Inc. is Your Small Business Solutions' Strategist for small businesses (under 250 employees) with a sweet spot of fewer than 50 employees. Kathy M Barron is founder, president and a principal consultant. For more information visit and view the HR Consulting support for small businesses OR email

Tags: employee retention, Employers, employee wellness, business image consultant