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How To Structure A Corporate Wellness Program

Here at Loyaltyworks we recognize that unhealthy workers are becoming a near pandemic in the American workforce. In fact, over the next 18 minutes, four Americans will have died from the food they consume. They make poor health choices, and increase the cost of running business through increased sick leave, increased absenteeism, and higher insurance and medical costs. Something has to be done about this, right? But what can you do as a business trying to rein in these wildly out of control costs. The answer that many businesses have turned to is an employee health and wellness incentive program.

But how effective are they? A study by the American Journal of Health Promotion showed an average reduction of 27% in sick leave absenteeism, a 26% reduction in health care costs, and a 32% reduction in workers’ comp and disability management cost claims. The studies even show that the average program produces an ROI of $5.82 returned for every dollar invested in the program.

That’s great! So how do you put your own into place?

Determine your needs – The easiest and most effective way to determine what issues your program needs to address is by administering a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA). This survey/questionnaire asks personal lifestyle questions (like smoking, eating habits, seatbelt use, etc.) and determines risk factors accordingly. You should be able to get one from your insurance company. Be careful that you follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) regulations while conducting your HRA.

Design Your Program – While on-site gyms are fantastic, not every company has the luxury or the space to install one. There are lots of other ways to make health-altering differences in your employees’ lives than just building a gym. Some companies have instituted no-smoking policies; some have created walking programs; and some have bought gym memberships for their employees, using their bulk purchasing power to get great deals on memberships. You can also use your HRA results to create a wellness incentive program, where you reward your employees with points for overcoming the risk factors associated with their results. At Loyaltyworks we create programs that give employees access to millions of different rewards for meeting their health goals. There are three main components your program should focus on reducing if you want to make a difference:

  • Tobacco
  • Cancer screenings
  • Fitness and nutrition

Without these three components, you’re probably not affecting any real change. Focus on anything else additionally but these three should be your primary focus.

Employee Buy-In – If nobody cares, then nobody participates. Management buy-in is paramount if you want employees to follow suit. They need to believe that the program will actually make a difference, and they need to understand all the aspects of the program. Communication is key here as it will help you let your employees know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, how you’re planning on getting there, and what’s in it for the employees if they get on board with you.

But above all the most important step is just to get started. Your workplace’s health and habits will never change unless you take action. So try these tips out, and get at least one foot down on the road to wellness today.



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