Another effect of the lagging economy: Recent research shows cash-strapped employees are cutting back on preventive healthcare measures.
More people are trading nutrition for processed and fast foods, and scaling back the amount of time they spend exercising.
So now’s a great time to refocus on preventive health care. If your company already has a wellness program (or is thinking of starting one), it’s a good idea to consider adding these features:
Claims checks and on-site screenings
Some wellness programs pinpoint at-risk employees by relying solely on the employees’ honesty in responding to health assessments. But let’s face it, employees aren’t always honest with themselves when it comes to their health. As a result, their answers on health assessments aren’t exactly accurate.
A better way to gauge workers’ health: Use a combination of data to determine who is at risk for chronic conditions. Example: Some companies use on-site health screenings and past claims history to assess if an employee is at-risk.
This approach has been found to significantly increase the amount of at-risk employees who are spotted.
Wellness program consultants are assigned to a company to help develop its wellness strategy, plan promotions, interpret reports and gauge the overall success of the wellness program.
Benefit: By keeping a close eye on a company’s wellness program, consultants can tweak and fix problems before they become out-of-control cost drivers.
Wellness coaches take a big-picture approach to helping employees with various lifestyle-related health issues.
Example: Smoking. There are a significant number of people who won’t try to quit smoking simply because they’re concerned about gaining weight.
But a cross-trained coach will help an employee quit smoking, while also making sure he or she makes smart nutritional choices to avoid the all-to-common weight gain that immediately follows kicking the habit.
What’s worked to improve your company’s wellness program lately? Let us know in the Comments Box below.