Healthier Employees with Wellness Programs

by: Nichole Gunn November 2, 2010

The 21st Century has entered with a wave of health consciousness for both individuals and businesses. This along with the new healthcare reform bill has led businesses to focus on employee wellness programs.

According to a recent article in BusinessWeek, “employers will have to offer some form of health insurance option to employees.” But, the challenge associated with this is the cost. Small businesses need to watch the bottom line just to survive; therefore, finding effective wellness programs that are affordable is a key strategy.

The article, offered by Bob Fabbio, CEO of WhiteGlove House Call Health, suggests three strategies businesses can initiate to create affordable and effective employee wellness incentive programs.

The first step is to conduct a wellness assessment of the staff. “This will inform you of the primary health risks affecting your particular organization.” Based on the results you have a roadmap guiding you toward additional steps necessary to give your employees the skills and motivation to participate effectively.

The second step offers healthy lifestyle practices, such as better eating habits and simple exercise ideas. This information can be offered in the form of a company newsletter and can provide necessary information to help employees reduce their risk of common health problems.

The third step involves implementing a rewards program. The program should include “companywide challenges, setting individual goals and offering incentives such as a day off or cash bonus.”

Businesses have been paying attention to the new trend: a healthy workplace is part of a healthy business. According to a survey conducted by Business Insurance and the Midwest Business Group on Health, more and more employers will be either expanding existing corporate wellness programs or initiating one in the near future.