Talent Management

6 questions that may lead to a healthier workforce

Questions for corporate wellness

As I travel across the United States and Canada talking to Vistage groups I am always amazed, and somewhat perplexed, by the scant attention given by employers to the health of their employees.

I have spoken to hundreds of groups and could count on one hand, the number of CEO’s and company owners who seem to be doing very much to encourage employees to become healthier. This seems counter intuitive to me because these are mostly small and medium sized companies that feel the pain of absenteeism and employee illnesses much more directly than larger employers.

If you have 50 employees and 5 are absent for some reason that is 10% of your workforce, and they probably have responsibilities that directly impact what other employees do. It puts more pressure on the employees who are at work, which increases the possibility for errors and reduced productivity. Maybe these employers do not feel that employee health is their concern or that they are too small to do anything about it. In both cases they would be wrong and they are actually costing their businesses plenty of avoidable expense.

If you’re ready to consider programs to help improve the wellness at your company, start by asking yourself the 6 questions below to think about where you may need to make changes in order to implement a high quality wellness program.

1. Are my health care costs increasing? Most likely the answer is, “yes” and the root cause may be that your employees are not as healthy as they could be. Finding a wellness program that supports proactive wellness changes in your workforce and encourages preventative health care can help reduce more costly expenses.

2. Do I need to make employee health a bigger concern? Be sure to weigh the benefits. When your employees are not well, you lose money to absenteeism, higher health insurance premiums and lower productivity when unwell employees are at work. Investing a little more upfront may cause larger savings later, as well as increase morale and goodwill in your workforce.

3. Does my company offer sufficient wellness education programs? Take a look at what’s out there and be sure to encourage your workers to participate in these programs, since if conducted and funded correctly, you could get 3 to 1, or even 10 to 1 ROI.

4. How much am I spending on my employee wellness program? It is recommended you spend at least $100/employee per year, and $200 would be even better.

5. Where am I spending the most on employee wellness? Are those the correct areas? Wellness programs should prioritize:

  • Blood tests to determine health status
  • Incentives in the form of lower premiums, lower deductibles and/or lower co-pays to encourage people to improve specific wellness numbers (such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, etc.)
  • Educational programs about alternative medicines and programs that could help impact their health (such as meditation or yoga)

6. Who at my company can organize this effort? Your insurance broker should take the lead on this. You could also form a team of interested and motivated employees to help lead the charge internally and get others motivated.

Has your company implemented a supplemental wellness program? How did you roll-out these measures and how did your employees react? Leave a comment below.

Category: Talent Management

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