Defining Corporate Wellness
It’s easy to say that the goal of corporate wellness it to create low-cost productive employees. That’s the ongoing result that clearly defines the success of any wellness program. However, defining corporate wellness is where many miss the mark...
Specifically, a culture needs to be established that becomes the norm for employees… creating the expectation without negative connotations.
Accountability must be placed on the employee for their personal wellness while presenting all programming as a benefit. With recruitment and retention at the forefront of consideration, it is possible to have employees who choose to ignore their health cover more of the medical claims spend of any given company; while keeping employee satisfaction at a high rate.
Those who ignore the fact that behavior is driven by accountability, which is driven by financial compensation, are missing the boat.
Corporate wellness is defined by a clear message to employees that those who make attempts to manage personal wellness as outlined by the program receive significant financial incentives for doing so. The message has to be relayed as an opt in / opt out package where the employee has a choice that results in financial impact (such as premium differentials, FSA or HSA accounts, or wellness credits).
Programming must be designed to incorporate participation while complying with government regulations and with eyes on keeping the incentives at the highest level of appeal for all employee populations.
Progressive health plan contribution strategies are established where the program begins with lenient compliance actions and then tightens up over time in order to drive employee adaptability and acceptance.
Once accountability is established, the focus becomes the promotion of educated decisions to be made by employees rather than catching the hype virus. This is the unavoidable damage control that is necessary due to an unregulated wellness industry and outside influences.
Another vital component to any corporate wellness program is proactive disease management, which is often seen as an oxymoron due to misconceptions. Many think of disease management as reactive to what has already happened. The truth is that prevention has its place with those already diagnosed as well as those in an apparently healthy state.
Considerations include affordability and government regulations on corporate wellness incentives and disincentives. Even with the tightest of regulations, programs can be designed to be very enticing to all employees. The strategy is to motivate all demographics within any given company.
Along with accountability, education, and disease management; specific actions to be performed by employees are what will make or break the program. Properly administered actions for employees will positively impact any and all findings from a needs assessment.
7 Key Actions for successful corporate wellness programs
There are 7 key actions that cover the needs of all employee populations, regardless of health risks appraisal results or a needs assessment. These consist of a mix of clinical and behavioral actions that promote ongoing results of continuous improvement in performance and overall cost per employee. Delivery of these actions and opportunities vary from company to company, but the actions stay the same. This is not referencing the blanket approach to wellness. This refers to more focus on actions as opposed to over-analytics. This is not to say that health risk appraisals are not necessary. However, too much focus here can kill efficiency in delivering ongoing and highly impactful programming. With proper design, we have the ability to significantly alter the common course of increasing trends in medical claims.
Many corporate wellness programs struggle due to misconceptions in the industry. Often, programs will…
- Appoint a health professional with no corporate wellness experience to run an employee wellness program
- Blanket employees with general wellness
- Overspend on the building of an on-site fitness center and/or subsidize outside memberships
- Put too much weight on incentives for inadequate exercise engagement programs
- Spend too much time on assessments and not enough time on actions
- Focus too much on hypothetical outcomes rather than measuring success accurately
- Operate as a “fun benefit” rather than a “financial asset”
- Administer hype-driven weight loss challenges that can actually set up some employees for long-term failure with personal wellness management
...and all of these are examples of the problems rather than the solutions.
Properly designed corporate wellness programs are not only a fun benefit. They are not only a recruitment and retention tool. They are a financial asset to the company if properly designed and administered. Handing out trinkets for a walking program and passing out generalized flyers at a health fair are great examples of why many companies have failed to obtain measurable and beneficial results in their wellness programs. This is not wellness. It’s time to move past the t-shirts and coffee mugs.
- Corporate Wellness Program Design
- Corporate Wellness Program Enhancement for companies with existing programs
- Wellness Products and Services Analytics
- Introduction of the 7 Keys to your Corporate Wellness Program
- Biometrics Program Design- The vitality of integrating biometric programs with physicians is often overlooked. Biometric services are performed with direct tie-in to each employee's physician network.
- Wellness Coaching Needs Assessment: Often over-used, these assessments can serve their purpose (when administered correctly) without bogging down programming with redundant analytics.
- Exercise engagement through Heart Rate Tracking rather than random step programs. Finally, we can track “adequate” exercise engagement.
- Behavioral Education Programs
- Care Compliance Program Design
- Physician Engagement Program Design
- Mobile Wellness Education
- Abdominal Obesity Programs- rather than weight loss programs which have a high fail rate. Problems associated with obesity (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, etc…) are better defined with abdominal obesity tracking as opposed to weight loss or BMI programs.
- Smoking Cessation
- Resource Management- working with selected vendors to provide employees with screened resources for living well.
- Wellness Education: Helping employees make educated decisions regarding their wellness actions rather than operating off a hyped-based and unregulated wellness industry.
- Assistance with benefit program analytics as they relate to employee wellness. This includes pharmacy programs, health plan design, and vendor relations all targeting potential cost savings.
- Integration- in efforts to offer a variety of services in the most efficient manner, affiliates are selectively integrated when and if the need is determined through initial and ongoing assessments of the client company. All affiliates are pre-screened and selected only when aligning.