Organizational Wellness

How Much Does a Wellness Program Cost For Small Businesses?

Mar 23, 2021
Last Updated Jun 1, 2023

You may think a wellness program sounds like a great idea for your company, but you may believe that the costs of a good program is too much for your small business.

Corporate wellness programs have swept through the workplace and have transformed the way employees engage with their workplace. 

If you want to be a part of the wellbeing movement to stay competitive in the modern workplace, you’ll need to do your research to see if the cost is really worth it. Lucky for you, we did the research and found out the answers to your burning questions so you can start working with a wellness partner today.

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

Corporate wellness programs have claimed to help workers lose weight, stress less, eat better, and sleep more. But how can you be sure they work? 

It may be difficult to see immediate results since health and wellness practices take time. However, the success of wellness programs really depends on how they are promoted in the workplace and employee participation.

One study conducted in 2019 by the University of Chicago and Harvard found that workers who participated in wellness programs did exhibit healthier behavior than those who did not participate in the program after 18 months. This study also found that prescription healthcare costs for the treatment group went down after 18 months, whereas the control group’s prescription cost stayed the same.

When workplace wellness programs are implemented correctly, they are known to have positive effects on an employee’s overall mood by reducing stress via the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain during physical exercise or mindfulness practices. 

Essentially, the success of wellness programs comes from the good health behaviors that employees adopt due to being consistently involved in a corporate wellness program. 

Workplace wellness programs do work when you have the right wellness partner, like Gympass, that provides you with all the tools you need to get your employees actively involved with their mental and physical health.

How Much Will a Wellness Program Cost My Company?

When determining the cost of wellness programs to your company, you’ll need to consider how much you want to offer your employees. This is because the cost of wellness programs per employee changes based on what you are willing to offer them.

Most wellness programs have various options and packages to choose from that you can offer your employees. Each option or package has a different cost. On average, workplace wellness programs cost between $150 to $2,000 per employee each year. The average amount spent on corporate wellness programs in 2019 was $762 per employee per year.

However, small businesses tend to spend less than average because they typically have less employees to enroll. A cost-effective solution for small businesses would be to partner with a platform that connects you to a large network of fitness and wellness partners.

With a platform like this, you have the option for flexible plans that act as a part of your benefits package. This means that both you and your employees contribute a monetary amount to their wellness plans. Wellness platforms with this model typically cost around $3 to $10 per employee per month (on average).

For instance, Gympass, a highly cost-effective option for small businesses, has packages available to your employees starting at just $9.99 per month. The kickstarter package gives your employees access to over 2,000 gyms and studios, 24 apps, as well as online classes and resources.

When calculating the cost of wellness programs for your employees, it is also best to consider the wellness incentives you’ll offer your employees for participating or completing corporate wellness challenges.

7 Must-Haves You Should Look For When Choosing an Employee Wellness Program

Find the best workplace wellness program to encourage employee health and wellness by searching for programs that include these must-haves.

Health Risk Assessments

You’ll want a wellness partner who offers options for assessing and evaluating the health risks that are present in your workplace. You can create your own survey to send out to you employees, but it is best if the wellness program you choose includes this as a part of the package. 

This assessment gives you what you need to know so you can increase participation in the wellness program. It also helps you to track progress once your employees begin the program.

Financial Wellness

Financial wellness has become a trending topic in recent years. Serious stress can come from financial struggles. The stress from financial problems may begin to cause health effects such as ulcers, migraines, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 

A good wellness partner provides financial wellness options to help employees feel better about their finances. They provide access to budgeting, savings, retirement planning, and other financial wellness resources to help employees become “financially fit.” 

Digital Options

All aspects of your wellness program should be easily accessible to your employees to increase participation and inclusiveness. 

Today’s workforce is made up of many remote employees and they should have access to the great wellness initiatives your chosen wellness partner offers. This means online classes, portals, and options for in-person gyms and classes where they live.

Mental Health Support

Focusing on one aspect of wellness and not another is not conducive to long-term wellness benefits for your business or its employees. Choose a wellness program that offers mental health support in addition to physical wellness options.

Your employees’ mental health affects every aspect of their lives, including work. Poor mental health often results in absenteeism, disengagement, along with other serious issues. To mitigate these issues, reduce the stigma by finding a wellness program that provides your employees with the mental health support they need.

Customized Program Offers

You might not need every single initiative a wellness program offers. Find one that allows you to pick and choose between packages and initiatives that will work best for your company size and employee needs.

After all, you don’t want to pay for unnecessary things that your employees won’t participate in.

An Accountability System

It’s easy for anyone to keep a few healthy habits for a couple of weeks, it’s harder to keep those healthy habits long-term. Wellness programs with an accountability system provide you and your employees with the most long-term success.

Accountability systems help employees and HR managers to track progress and to provide wellness incentives when appropriate.

Effective Onboarding Support

Your employees are less likely to participate in a new wellness program if they don’t understand what it is, why they should participate, or how to use the provided tools and resources. A company that supports your onboarding efforts will help to maximize employee buy-in to the program. 

Your small business can afford a great wellness program with Gympass! As the largest platform with connections to 700+ apps, Gympass has something for all of your employees.

Gympass is a one-stop-shop solution that provides holistic well-being care for your entire workforce and their families. Getting started with this wellness partner is fast and simple with the downloadable app. Learn more about Gympass today!


Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.