Researchers say companies that have won an award for their employee health and safety cultures also outperform the Standard & Poor's 500, but they cannot yet say that causality has been identified.
What does a company's employee wellness program have to do with its stock price?
A study appearing in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests there may be a link between employee population health and the stock performance of large corporations.
It found that companies that have won the Corporate Health Achievement Award for their employee health and safety cultures also outperform the Standard & Poor's 500 by 3.03% – 5.27%.
Study coauthor R. Dixon Thayer, CEO and co-founder of HealthNEXT consultants, concedes that the study cannot categorically link the higher stock performance with better wellness and safety programs. "What we cannot say from this research is that there is causality. What we can say is there is a high correlation between one and the other," he says.
"Maybe companies that invest highly in their workforce wellness also are just better run companies. And one of the reactions we have and we hope others will have to that is 'so what?' The point is that well-run companies that are achieving superior returns make these investments."
John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.