Investing in your employees' health isn't just a smart management move; it's also good for the bottom line.  

A new survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans makes the case that for nearly every dollar spent on wellness programs, companies save an average of $3 dollars in overall healthcare costs over time.

The survey responses came from over 500 U.S. organizations, 66% of which were single employers/corporations. Of the companies surveyed, 70% offer health initiatives such as flu shots, health screenings, and weight management programs. According to the survey, about two-thirds of the companies have increased wellness budgets in the last five years--with an 83% positive return due to money saved through health care deductions, lower premiums, etc. 

But don't expect results right away. "ROI can be difficult to measure," Julie Stich, a senior information/research specialist at the foundation told Baseline in an interview. "Health improvements may be influenced by a combination of factors, and it takes an average of three years to see cost-saving results."

The report also showed employees respond well to incentives. Most of the fitness programs implemented by the companies included an award component, such as a gift certificate or a cash prize.