Diabetes. Heart Disease. Obesity. Cancer. Arthritis. Depression. Asthma. Allergies. These are some of the most common conditions classified as chronic disease; disease that, for the most part, is entirely preventable. The CDC estimates that 75% of our total healthcare spending as a nation is allotted to chronic disease. That equates to $2.25 Trillion (yes, TRILLION) at last count in 2014 that wouldn’t have to be spent if we all played our cards a little smarter and sharpened the focus on our health initiatives.

Of course, a good portion of that cost falls directly on you, the company. Not only do you have the immediate costs of direct care for these chronic diseases, but also the indirect ramifications associated with illness such as lost productivity, lack of engagement, and absenteeism. While they seem subtle, these indirect costs that come with chronic disease suffers can be up to 4x higher than for those who are unaffected by disease. The CDC estimates that in productivity losses alone, chronic disease costs companies $1685 per employee per year. That amounts to $225.8 billion that could be saved annually instead of spent by US companies if our focus shifted to empowering employees to prevent these diseases from occurring.

As the workforce ages and chronic disease onsets become earlier, it is becoming even more crucial to think about prevention. Combatting disease requires a behavioral and lifestyle shift that must start at the place most people spend the majority of their time and mental stamina: work. Investing in employee wellbeing means a better bottom line for you, and ultimately a better quality of life for them. It’s one step towards making your good business a great one.



“Wellness programs have often been viewed as a nice extra, not a strategic imperative. Newer evidence tells a different story. With tax incentives and grants available under recent federal health care legislation, U.S. companies can use wellness programs to chip away at their enormous health care costs, which are only rising with an aging workforce.”       - Leonard L Berry, Ann M. Mirabito, William B. Baun, “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?,” Harvard Business Review, Dec 2010

The evidence is steeply mounting. Studies upon studies can tell us that investing in employee health and wellness is not only good for their personal health and moral, it also benefits the company checkbook.  Furthermore, they tell us that healthy and happy employees tend to be more productive and more inclined to stay in their current jobs, which reduces the turnover rate and gives employers more bang for their buck.

Just how much bang might you get for every dollar invested in employee wellness? A study published by Health Affairs in 2010 found that every dollar put towards employee wellness programs returned a savings of $3.27 in healthcare spending. The same dollar returned $2.73 in terms of productivity and absenteeism. These numbers are significant, especially when you consider your number of employees over time.*



While your employees' physical health is a huge and measurable consideration, it is important to also look at the bigger picture when improving the overall wellbeing of the employee and further increasing your savings. Chronic disease is not solely responsible for chipping away at your workforce.  The other more often ignored villain that may be affecting your employees' wellbeing is corporate culture. Almost 70% of the US workforce reports they don’t feel engaged at work. Talk about taking the wind out of your sales (yes, sales).  When employees feel disconnected, compressed in their ability to think freely, or undervalued, their work suffers, but ultimately it is the company that suffers most.  Productivity slows, excitement dwindles, and the hiring process can feel like a revolving door as employees quickly come and go.  It doesn’t mean your employees are inept or lazy. It simply indicates that something is missing in the office; something only you, the company, can fix.

Good corporate culture is less obviously defined in terms of dollars and cents. However, having a vested interested in employee wellbeing and engagement can of course create savings benefits or revenue boosting opportunities. First, caring about your employees wellbeing and how they feel about their jobs can boost morale and encourage a more interactive, supportive corporate culture. It can heighten engagement and foster creative thinking which could lead to a big idea or breakthrough for your company that right now is just hiding under a stack of papers in a cubicle. Good corporate culture creates an opportunity for employees to interact with one another on a human level more than a business level. When employees feel valued, they are less likely to start job searching elsewhere which can reduce you turnover rate, build better interpersonal relationships, and keep hiring costs at bay. Rather, it can make your company a sought after place to work because your employees are actually, dare we say, having fun. Happy, fun-having employees are more likely to be healthy employees which can help fend of disease in the first place. Most importantly, it increases the individual self-worth of each employee as much as it can increase the worth of the company. 



Of course, these savings, behavioral, and culture shifts don’t come without a bit of elbow grease. Corporate wellness is not a magic little pill for perfect numbers or perfect employees. It requires commitment, engagement, and promotion to get employees on board and keep them excited about the progress they’re making. It demands a shift in perspective on their part but also on your part. You as a company must be ready to practice what you preach and to go “all-in” for your employees. If you’re disconnected from the program, they will be too. When they can see and feel you’ve put forth the effort and you have genuine interest in their wellbeing, they’re much more likely to jump all-in with you.  By bringing all theses key ingredients together – wellness, commitment, and engagement – you lay the groundwork for success. You create the platform on which your company and your employees can prosper together. You make it possible for employees to make positive changes in their health and positive changes in their workday that may lead to positive changes for your company. 

Companies far and wide have made strides in employee health and corporate culture and you can too. Click the links below to learn more about the examples other companies have successfully set in these areas. 



Every company approaches employee health and corporate culture a bit differently, but ultimately these two things must work in unison for a company and its employees to truly succeed.  On-site yoga can create the perfect breeding ground for them to come together and flourish. The practice of yoga first allows an opportunity for employees to find a deeper connection to themselves, a connection that can forge the initial steps to increasing contentment. Practicing as a group amongst fellow employees, managers, and CEO’s, creates a sense of equivalence and community.  Additionally, there are the more obvious benefits of moving and breathing that improve physical health and stamina as well as relieve stress. These small strides on a human level can lead to leaps on the company level, waterfall effecting everything from health care savings, to increased productivity, to net worth. 

So what are you waiting for? Jump in. Invest in your wellbeing. Invest in your company’s wellbeing. Invest in a brighter future full of healthier, happier people and healthier, happier companies. Set the bar a little higher and rise to the occasion. Be an example for other companies out there.  Become the corporate cool kid. Be the place everyone wants to work. Put in the effort and reap the return. You can do it. We can help you get there. 



*All numbers calculated form studies conducted in the United States by 3rd party research groups. While all studies clearly produce solid evidence and sound research, NAVAWELL does not make specific claims regarding company savings. The finances and situations of each company are different and therefore NAVAWELL cannot make savings guarantees.