6 Ideas to Improve Your Current Corporate Wellness Program
Nov 21, 2011
In the course of my recent blog postings, I have given advice on ideas on starting a corporate wellness program. This article will discuss six ways to take your company’s current wellness program to the next level.
When executed properly, these 6 steps can positively affect the health and wellness of your employees. Companies should keep investing in their wellness programs in order to reduce health care costs and to keep the program fresh.
1. Start a Senior Level Wellness Program: Companies having delivered health care advantages through their wellness programs for hourly and mid-level employees for any period of time should be aware that these programs can yield positive results. Senior level employees and managers should be immediately added to the program, or to a similar one for a high return on investment.
2. Improve the Strategy: The key to any wellness program is its strategy. The strategy is the document containing all the activities and tricks that enables a wellness program to address its objectives. Discuss with employees in different departments to see what can be improved, where you can make changes, and what else needs to be addressed. Be sure to include in these meetings both people who are actively participating in the program and those that have not yet taken part in it for best results.
3. Link Your Employee Benefit Plan to Participation in Your Health Promotion Plan: A big problem is that people that can most use a wellness program are often the people least likely to participate in them. The result is that the majority of wellness programs of the companies have participation rates of as low as 20%-25%. With the health condition of the average American worker declining, designing health promotions in a way so that they can increase participation in your benefit plan will be practiced in the years to come.
4. Use Telephone Counseling for At-Risk Employees: At-risk employees may need additional counseling, whether by telephone, through early morning or early evening meetings, or reaching them at home or in their car. The key is reaching out to these employees, in order to get the maximum improvement to your wellness program.
5. Make Physical Activity and Nutrition a Significant Part of the Program: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. The keys to changing behavior is a strong emphasis on physical activity and nutrition, which should be an integral part of any wellness programs.
6. Increase the Amount of Money Your Company Invests in Wellness: The majority of employers invest too little in the healthcare of their workers. Employers should spend significantly more than the amount they currently spend, which is under $20 per employee per year. Imagine what you can save by reducing your healthcare costs by 15% per year. Take half of those savings to get an idea of what you should spend on average for your employee wellness program if all goals are met. It will more than pay for itself each year two times over.
While there are many ways of upgrading your wellness program, the six steps mentioned above should be looked at for the next twelve months.
It’s a fact that the health and wellness of employees are of supreme importance to every company. The average age of the workforce is getting older, and obesity rates are rising, which means increased expenditures on healthcare costs. Taking early measures will be the dominating factor in keeping these costs in control and keeping the workforce of the nation healthy and efficient.