With healthcare costs rising to a nearly unmanageable degree, many companies are looking for innovative ways to manage resources effectively and efficiently. Wellness programs – either through your company or on your own — are a great way to stay healthy, keep active and reduce your healthcare costs.
Being active, keeping your body moving and eating healthy foods are a great way – and, really, the only way – to keep your body and spirit healthy.
There are many reasons for companies to promote healthy lifestyles for their employees, and one of them is financial. Wellness programs are an effective way to manage healthcare costs.
On average, companies that enact appropriate wellness programs see a one-third reduction in sick days, a one-third reduction in health costs and a one-third reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management claims.
Wellness programs can reduce absenteeism at work, allowing for a more productive worker. And not only do these programs save the company money, they can help employees reduce their personal costs as well. In addition, employee satisfaction is linked to wellness programs. According to recent Aflac study, 28% of employees said they would feel more satisfied and more loyal to their employer if their company offered more options to improve their health and lifestyle. 35% of employees were willing to change their lifestyle habits if it meant they could lower their health insurance premiums.
The most traditional approach is official, company-sponsored wellness plans. Consider promoting the following activities or programs:
- healthy eating and nutrition
- smoking cessation
- stress management
- weight management & weight loss
Programs can take the form of official contests or challenges, support groups or even something as unstructured as a lunchtime walking group. These programs can all benefit how a person feels and how healthy they are. Most programs create a structured plan and environment and offer goals to meet. Usually, once goals are met, various rewards are offered. There are a variety of ways a company can manage employee recognition programs focused around wellness.
- Financial Rewards – monetary prizes, gift cards, fitness trackers and more.
- Benefit Rewards – increased employer contribution to employee health care costs or reduction in premiums
One great option is the health insurance carrier itself, as many carriers also offer excellent wellness programs and support. These could come in the form of a nurse line or online nursing support, to reimbursements for gym memberships. Some carriers even offer cash-back programs to reward the purchase of healthy food at the grocery store. Employees should be encouraged to take advantage of these programs, regardless of whether the company has its own wellness program.
In this era of endless increases in healthcare costs, it has become clear that wellness plans through an employer are becoming standard practice in 2016. When properly structured and administered, such programs benefit employees and the company. Wellness programs can reduce absenteeism at work,allowing for a more productive worker.
At Rogers & Gray we have taken the time to put a well thought-out wellness program in place to help our employees and our company as whole achieve the image of the person they wanted to see in the mirror. Check out our careers page to learn about joining the R&G team!