Reducing claims and losses is a top priority for safety managers and fleet owners. It’s why drivers undergo extensive orientation and training that cover safety best practices and tips to avoid collisions and injuries. In addition to focusing on safe driving, fleets can proactively reduce claims and losses by emphasizing driver health and implementing 
a wellness program.

There are many benefits to implementing a wellness program. Motor carriers will often see a drop in sick leave and absenteeism, health care costs, workers’ compensation claims, disability management and employee turnover. At the same time, employees can experience an increase in productivity, mental alertness, energy, morale and their overall health. Employees can also experience a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, blood sugar, stress, weight and body fat.

According to the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA), the return on your investment depends on the type of wellness program you implement. Essentially, the more you put into the program, the more your fleet will benefit. WELCOA describes the following types of wellness programs:

  • Quality of life program: designed to improve employee morale by providing self-esteem boosters and tips via email, handouts or posters. Employee participation is voluntary.
  • Traditional wellness program: takes steps to change the work environment and provide health and wellness information to employees as well as a variety of activities in which they can participate. The goal is to reach as many employees as possible with a wide range of activities to attract the most people.
  • Comprehensive wellness program: provides a very structured and well-documented health management program with activities offered to both employees and their families. It covers all aspects of healthy lifestyles and might involve on-site fitness classes and seminars.

WELCOA estimates the cost per employee to be $100 – $150 per year for an effective wellness program. In turn, an effective program can produce a $300 – $450 return on investment per employee in the form of reduced sick leave and faster recovery from injury, among other benefits.

Once you decide to implement a wellness program, you have to have employee buy-in. Here are some tips for increasing participation:

  1. Involve employees from all departments and levels to help develop a program.
  2. Ask employees what will motivate them to participate.
  3. Provide incentives such as discounts on gym memberships, heart rate monitors, pedometers, and workout shoes or clothes.
  4. Promote the program using emails, posters in break rooms, pay stub inserts, educational sessions, etc.
  5. Include top leadership in the activities. Leading by example has great impact.
  6. Make programs and activities easily accessible.
  7. Provide as many choices as possible.
  8. Periodically ask for employee feedback on improving the activities and programs.
  9. Help workers develop programs that will fit their specific health and wellness needs.
  10. Work with your health care insurer to see if there are any incentives they can offer to encourage participation. 
  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Health & Wellness
  • Claims