Expanding free wellness programs to include dependents is a smart move for several reasons. From the employee productivity side, healthier families mean fewer sick days for employees, and fewer employees missing work to provide dependent care, and obviously, lower healthcare costs.
For recruiting, this will do nothing but enhance Cleveland Clinic's status. Taking proactive and progressive actions to improve the quality of life for employees is a powerful draw, and sends a strong message that management cares about the employees. Quality people want to belong to vanguard institutions.
Most importantly, it makes wellness not just an employee benefit, but a family benefit. This changes not just the behaviors at work, but the more-crucial behaviors at home. Now, mother, father and even the children can go together to the health club, or they can join Weight Watchers or smoking cessation programs, and support each other at home to meet – and maintain – health goals.
We will only reduce our nation's healthcare costs when we as individuals take personal control of our own health. Cleveland Clinic and other businesses that recognize the importance of promoting wellness for the entire family are providing the tools to do it.