Successful workplace wellness strategies achieve the ultimate goal of medical claims savings, improved health, and better productivity of employees are what every HR team and the CFO dream about. And with the right data, a strategic plan and good project management skills, it can happen. One of the biggest obstacles to creating an effective wellness program is often the HR team themselves. Human resource teams get left holding the wellness bag, despite them being little more qualified than the anyone else. Wellness programs fall into 1 of 3 categories:
Be Healthy or Pay More – Also known as Outcomes Based. This is when an employer requires you to pass a certain number of biometric risks. For example, you may have to pass at least 2 or 3 biometric thresholds in order to receive a discount on your health benefits. Outcomes usually target top health risks such as weight, blood pressure, and smoking. If you do not pass the minimum requirement, you have the option to enroll in telephonic coaching or complete an approved alternative activity.
Jump Through Hoops – this is usually a participation-based program that has a list of 3 activities that you must do to get your reduced health insurance, or to avoid paying a surcharge. Activities usually include: biometrics, complete a health risk assessment, and either coaching or completion of a physical activity program.
Grassroots Wellness Movement – Also known as “Building a Culture of Wellness.” This is when you make the primary function of wellness to be a fun, entertaining, yet health-focused mission at the workplace. While you can’t make employees participate, you can make it so that it becomes contagious and improves the work-life balance feel. Spoiler alert: Employees like this one the most.
Just as each individual has specific health risks and goals, each employer also has specific health risks and (hopefully) goals. Knowing those two and to what degree those risks are helps determine the best approach that will most likely be accepted by employees. If an employer is not willing to approach workplace wellness using a strategic approach, just like any other key performance area of a business, they are missing out on a wealth of rewards and opportunities to reduce costs and make employees happier. The same holds true for individuals. Without a personal wellness strategy, you will likely not achieve your health goals, and it will most certainly cost you more money in medical bills, not to mention reduced quality of life.
Each one of these strategies has pros and cons, and I will discuss best practices of each one, and provide some examples. I will also discuss the results you can expect of each one of these in the next posts in this series of 5 blog posts.
What’s working well for your company?