Are you responsible for your staff’s physical health? Conference Board of Canada research associate Louise ChÃ©nier says yes. “Employers have a role to play in supporting their employees on this matter,” says ChÃ©nier, who was part of the team that surveyed Canadian companies (15% of which have less less than 500 employees) about their nutrition programs.
Two-thirds of Canadian organizations responding to the 2012 survey said that they do offer nutrition programs—though less than half measure the impact of their programs on employees and even fewer are aware of what their initiatives eat up in costs.
ChÃ©nier asserts that “Nutrition programs are a cost-effective way for employers to help employees have healthier diets.”
What constitutes “cost effective?” Only one third of respondents actually calculated the cost of these programs, and their numbers ranged from zero to $50,000 per year. The average amount spent was $5,000, typically 10% to 30% of the overall wellness budget.
This money is mostly being spent on healthy selections for the on-site cafeteria, but also healthy options for on-site catered meetings.