The time for most New Year’s Resolutions has passed…It’s February, people are thinking about Valentine’s candies and that willpower pushing away extra helpings has been replaced with yearning for a spring vacation. However, February is a great time to think about an Employee Wellness Plan (It’s Heart Month!) and evaluate how an integrated program can save your overall costs:
1. A Wellness Plan is a step beyond health insurance: While offering employees health coverage is a great first step towards lowering overall costs, an integrated plan is more than that. Health-focused services such as those available through BizAssure help assess employee’s health, offer educational webinars and recognize employees for improved health.
2. Healthier employees = less time out of work, less health insurance claims. A Wellness Plan that encourages employees to be proactive about improving their overall health picture leads to employees more likely to be engaged in physical fitness, use preventive screening programs offered under their health insurance plan and be less likely to miss work due to preventable illness.
3. Healthier employees = employees more likely to stay. While healthcare is not often thought of as a key retention point for employers, offering access to a Wellness Plan that shows the employer’s investment in the employees’ overall well-being can lead to better long-term employee happiness and retention.
4. Lowering overall healthcare spending at your workplace contributes to a better overall economy. The Kaiser Family Foundation tracks healthcare spending per capita and projects that by 2023 national spending will be almost $15,000 per person, up from $9,163 in 2013. One of the best ways your business can contribute to overall economic health, thus providing your firm more opportunities to thrive, is to have a healthy workforce lessening the burden on the healthcare system as a whole.
5. A corporate Wellness Plan shows an investment in the lives of employees: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventable, chronic diseases account for 75 percent of healthcare costs. Illnesses like heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes often take a toll on the entire family, not just the ill person. Providing access to Wellness Plans shows your employees you care not only about their health but the health of their entire family.
6. Employee Wellness Plans promote creativity: An integrated plan for your employees doesn’t have to be boring and can also encourage creativity from your team. Host a challenge across the company to find the coolest fitness app and provide downloads for you entire team. Ask employees what unusual activities they like to do to promote well-being and start hosting them in your workplace: Meditation Mondays, anyone?
7. Integrating mindfulness in a Wellness Program can reduce workplace injuries: The movement towards ‘mindfulness,’ or practicing techniques to live in the moment and focus on one task at a time can help create a greater sense of concentration among employees, potentially decreasing workplace injuries where a team member is distracted or trying to multi-task.
8. You can use participation in a Wellness Program as a valuable employee incentive: As an alternative to increased hourly wages or other hard costs, offer your employees a subsidy to offset any healthcare insurance premiums paid out of pocket if they participate in the company Wellness Plan — It’s a win-win as the employees get additional financial benefit and you may receive lower premium costs if the employee participates in the plan and may miss less days of work.