Are you aiming for the right target?

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Are you offering your employees or clients something of value, or are you simply ticking the wellness box?

Many employee wellness initiatives are aiming at the wrong target, and the shift to "outcome based programs" and new ACA incentive allowances are only encouraging them.

What's the number 1 reason employers implement wellness programs? To control healthcare costs. But are healthcare costs the highest cost burden that poor employee health has on their business? NO. Why then, is there a tunnel vision approach to wellness as physical risk compliance and healthcare cost containment? You're undervaluing your employee health. Unless you have an older workforce or employees stay with your company for 20 plus years, does it really save you much money to help them avoid the heart attack they might have in 18 years time?

The truth is there's far more business value to be gained RIGHT NOW from productivity gain, stress management, absence reduction, injury prevention, and talent retention from effective lifestyle programs than you'll ever save in healthcare costs. In fact, numerous studies show that the cost of reduced productivity and excess absences due to poor health, stress, and fatigue account for $2 for every dollar spent on healthcare. Yes, you read correctly, take the amount of money you spend on healthcare annually and double it; that's the value potential you have for a more holistic and individualized approach to wellness that actually succeeds in addressing employee health behaviors, resilience to stress, and energy management. Oh, and guess what, if they improve their health behaviors, they will also become healthier - so you can still achieve your original objective as well as gain significant value from boosting their performance. But you won't achieve it through simple know your numbers campaigns, pedometer challenges, or benefits penalties. You need to show your employees the value, power, and personal benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and then give them the personal skills they need to get there.  

Assess your current wellness initiatives or vendors and ask yourself: Are we focusing on the right target? Are we offering our employees something of value or are we simply trying to force them to comply with physical outcomes? Are any of the changes we achieve through incentives going to be sustainable? Are we truly reaching our whole population and having a positive impact on productivity and talent development?  

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, contact us to learn more about HBD's comprehensive and innovative programs which help your population change behavior and sustainably improve their health, safety, and performance.

Published on by Andrew Stephenson.