Did you know that most healthcare costs are avoidable? For companies that offer comprehensive health insurance packages, those costs can really add up over time. Diseases like heart disease, stroke, and obesity count for 75% of the total health care costs, according to Forbes.
Many of the most costly health problems can actually be remedied by adopting a healthy lifestyle and actively working to mitigate those risks. When your employees spend a majority of their time in your office, there is a lot that can be done in the workplace to ensure that your employees are taking their health seriously and are setting a good example.
80% of Americans feel that they are stressed at work. That stress creates a considerable impact on their health. By taking steps like instituting a comprehensive employee wellness program features, you can help to cut back on healthcare insurance costs while facilitating happier, healthier, and more productive workplace.
As you look at how to bulk up your employee wellness program features, there are a few key features that you should look to include to give your program and your employees the best possible chance of success. At Organimi, we recommend looking at employee wellness programs that include a few specific features to ensure each employee can get the most out of the program:
Health Risk Assessments
The best place to start when looking at improving your health is to take an honest accounting of your current health status. A health risk assessment (HRA) is a questionnaire that is used as the first step in providing an evaluation of their current health status. Requiring that employees take the HRA as a first step to enrolling in your wellness program helps you to assess the overall health status of your employees and estimate risks throughout your company. Participants can receive feedback and recommendations for lifestyle changes that will serve them well.
Over half of large employers offer on-site biometric screening. These can be beneficial to both employees and employers as they provide vital information like blood pressure and cholesterol levels of each of their employees. This can give employees a real assessment of their current risk and motivate them to make positive lifestyle changes when risks are identified in the biometric screening process.
While biometric screenings are important, it is important to remember that they are not a replacement for physical exams and standard doctor appointments. The result of a biometric screening can be used to give the employee a general sense of their current health state and current risks. It can also help with the early detection of some conditions like diabetes and cancer.
Biometric screenings make for an excellent addition to any wellness program. Most employees would not undergo these tests on their own, and spurring them to make positive life changes is a benefit for both the company and the employees on an individual level.
Making positive health changes can be difficult. Many of us are entrenched in our unhealthy habits. Even when risks are identified and steps are recommended, getting someone to actively follow through on those recommendations can be a tough task. For this reason, we recommend that all companies institute some sort of health coaching program Health coaching sessions can help employees to better understand the stakes and motivate them to make changes to counteract the risks that the coaches stress to them. It also gives them an opportunity to speak with an expert in their field about topics like nutrition and exercise, which many will be woefully uninformed about.
Gym Memberships and Fitness Events
Giving employees information about their health is a good start, but often isn’t enough to get them truly engaged in the process. By offering gym memberships and fitness events to your employees (or even discounted gym memberships), you will find that a far larger percentage of your total workforce will stay active. Some companies go as far as to install a gym in their office, which can be a great idea and encourage employees to work out before and after work, or during their lunch break.
One popular trend that we have seen in many wellness programs is the pop-up gym. They bring all of the necessary equipment to the workplace, allowing employees to stay active. The gym doesn’t necessarily have to take up any office space and often can be conveniently located in a trailer in the parking lot of the building.
Other great ideas include daily walks for employees. Not only does this give them another break and a chance to get out of the office, but it allows them to take part in a healthy activity as a group. You may find that other walking groups break off from these events and encourage employees to be more healthy. By promoting physical fitness in this way, you can facilitate a happier and more productive workplace.
Some common, popular, and innovative gyms-on-the move include pop-up gyms that will bring all the necessary equipment to a workplace so that employees can conveniently stay active. Many companies are setting up activities that employees can participate in daily like walking groups and treadmill workstations. By promoting physical fitness to employees, companies are helping to create a happier and more productive workplace.
According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, people who are happy are more resistant to diseases like colds and heart disease, while stress and anxiety tend to make people more susceptible. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle can improve attendance.
Health Tracking Tools
If you want your employees to stay on top of their health, the best thing that you can do for them is to give them a consistent and reliable way for them to track their health at any given time and see their own progression. Encouraging your employees to use apps or programs that allow them to track calories, weight, activity, and monitor them all on a daily or weekly basis can be a great way to open their eyes to how much exercise they are actually getting.
Make sure that these programs provide them with a web-based dashboard for accessing this data so they can stay on top of it. Most web-based programs will provide an interesting and easy-to-understand visual representation of the data while providing relevant information like tips, recipes, and articles that are relevant. To their specific situation.