Surveys tell us that the biggest challenge to your company’s ability to maintain affordable health coverage is most likely from your employees’ poor health habits or from under-use of preventive services. These are the issues that an employee wellness incentive program works to address. The old adage says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While that may not be exactly true, employee wellness incentive programs can still reduce insurance claims by up to 20%.
But how do employee wellness incentive programs work? A good corporate wellness program focuses on:
- Increasing employee education and awareness of health risks
- Engaging your workforce in active, healthy lifestyles
- Reducing moderate and high risk behaviors, specifically weight, stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and tobacco use
- Reducing medical claims expense, as well as absences, disability and worker’s comp injuries
Corporate wellness programs help your company achieve these goals by centering the focus on improving employee well being, energy and engagement. Your employees are much more likely to buy into, and participate in the program when the program is built not only to produce ROI and improve the quality of life and well-being for them. If you’re thinking about working on wellness in your office, but aren’t ready to commit to a full employee wellness incentive program, here are four ideas to help you better manage the well being of your workforce.
- Create a wellness manager – Put someone in charge of spearheading your wellness initiatives. Be sure that they care deeply about wellness and are well equipped to answer questions and offer guidance about being healthy.
- Endorse a mission of wellness – Make sure your employees know that you’re putting managerial weight behind the wellness initiatives and that it’s not just a flash in the pan idea. This will help them buy into the program as well and you’ll receive much better results.
- Recruit the help of an expert wellness specialist – Looking for outside help is never a bad thing. You can bring in a personal trainer or even a nutritionist to help get your employees off on the right foot.
- Create a wellness team – Put a team together to help the wellness manager keep your office energized about making healthy choices. The more people you have involved, the more likely it is that everyone will get on board.
These ideas should help you get started down the road to healthier employees and lower insurance and medical costs. The main issue is simply getting started. As long as you recognize that you and your employees will both benefit from a healthier workplace and take steps to achieve it, your chances of failure will be very slim.
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