What is the ROI of your company’s health?

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When you provide employees with resources to improve their health, potential benefits include increased engagement, healthier team members, reduced absenteeism and lower healthcare costs.


Image: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

The last year and a half have brought about so many workforce trends, it’s hard to keep track:

  • Companies moved to fully-remote or hybrid work models

  • Employees demand higher wages, more flexibility, and more comprehensive benefits

  • Corporate health benefits have become a requirement to retaining employees, not just a perk

  • Less distinction between work and home life, which is resulting in burnout

  • In-office perks like free beer and ping-pong tables have become irrelevant

At the same time, our work lives have become no less stressful, as companies struggle to do more with fewer resources. But perks like corporate physical training can improve mental and physical health, reduce absenteeism, and save on healthcare costs—corporate trends that keep employees engaged and companies healthy.

Most corporate wellness programs don’t pay off

While many companies offer corporate wellness benefits like gym membership reimbursements, smoking cessation tools, and healthy meals or snacks in the office, these perks fail to make a lasting effect on overall employee health. Employees get busy and revert to their comfort habits, which may help them get through the push of work. When the company not only offers but facilitates wellness and physical fitness programs, the buy-in and retention rates increase significantly. 

Consider your current wellness plan. Now ask yourself:

  • How many of your employees work out every month? 

  • How many of your employees make their physical health a priority by taking time out of their work day to exercise? 

  • How many of them commit to physical activity even three days a week? 

Studies have shown that company-wide participation in a corporate wellness program tops out around 5% on average. But what would your company save on healthcare costs if over 25% of the employees committed to working with a physical trainer for the next year? Now compound that over the next five years. 

Company-backed wellness works

Over the past year, 32% of TechnologyAdvice employees committed to working out with a personalized training program through YOK fitness. The employees paid nothing, were given access to a personalized training program, a live 30 minute workout five days a week, and a personalized nutrition program via the YOK app. The app also connected the employees through a gamified message board, where they could cheer one another’s successes and milestones.

Lee Tabor, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager at TechnologyAdvice, found that the program has renewed his energy to be a better employee and father to his kids. He said, “The team has been great to work with and are always willing to modify workouts to accommodate each individual. I have been struggling with nerve pain and various injuries over the past few years, and they are always able to modify my workouts to avoid aggravating those pains. Over the past few months those pains have been improving overall, while I have been able to gain back strength and lose an inch or two in the waist line as well!”

Because of the unique combination of community support, personalized wellness, and increased access via the app, TechnologyAdvice employees who participated in the program averaged 6 logins into the app a week and a 90-day retention rate in the program of 88%. 

Rob Bellenfant, Founder and CEO of TechnologyAdvice, said, “It’s important that we foster a culture that not only encourages team members to prioritize their health and well-being, but supports them in doing so. At TA, we’ve dedicated this past year to promoting wellness through hosting #wellnesschallenges, offering all team members Headspace subscriptions, and most recently, partnering with YOK. Investing in your people means investing in their well-being, and we will continue to look for ways to do just that.” 

Why an app-based physical fitness program works

Companies are changing rapidly with the move to remote work: we’re all spending less time in the office, more time at our desks at home, and less time turned off from work. This has resulted in more employees burning out, many employees moving to new jobs, and unintended health effects that go beyond the pandemic. 

Companies that offer health benefits beyond reactive medical care and provide access to active tools and resources to improve their health will see benefits in increased engagement, healthier employees, reduced absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs.

That’s why we started YOK fitness. The one-to-one personal training model that many are used to is not only expensive for the trainee—averaging at about $90 a session—it’s also inefficient. And companies that give health benefits or exercise perks often put the onus on the employee to prioritize their health outside of work hours—in addition to the eight or nine hours they spend at work and their family commitments. 

An app-based fitness program provided by the company shortcuts many of these excuses to not prioritize individual fitness. YOK contracts with the company to provide personalized fitness at scale, giving employees permission to pay attention to their health. The combination of a fitness community, personalized programming, and a focus on nutrition works for companies. 

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, a well-designed employee wellness program like YOK will provide companies with a return on their investment (ROI) of $1.50 to $3.00 for every dollar spent. Consider how many $70 gym membership payouts your company does every month. Can your company afford to continue to pay out those perks without the returns? 

About YOK Corporate Fitness: YOK is a personalized physical training program for companies that want to invest in their employees’ health and wellness. We provide certified personal trainers to employees through a mobile app.

Author Casey Stanley is the co-founder of YOK Corporate Fitness. He is dedicated to helping employers save on health care costs and increase worker productivity by helping team members improve their health through personal training. 


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