In the contemporary workplace human resources are highly valued. Employers understand, employees make or break the success of a company and therefore seek to ensure employees are able to maintain a consistent level of productivity.

The health and well-being of employees is important to the modern employer. Wellness programs are becoming commonplace within working environments.

Wellness programs are implemented by a third party company that takes care of the health and well-being of employees within the company. Employee wellness programs vary from health screening and nutritional advice to fitness programs and education.

Companies employ these third party agencies to try to offset the cost of rising medical cover for their employees. Wellness programs are designed to ensure the physical well being of employees is being looked after however these kinds of programs have benefits for both the employer and the employee. Employer benefits include a reduction in sickness related absenteeism and a reduction in the time employees take off in general. Other benefits for the company are reduced medical cover costs and a more educated and healthy work force. Ensuring the health of employees within a company is highly conducive to a happy and productive work place.

Employee wellness programs also have a lot of benefits for employees. Wellness programs often involve some form of education. From smoking cessation programs to weight loss to biometric testing and diabetes screening these programs at the very least raise awareness around important health issues. This awareness can have a drastic effect on employee health and lifestyle. Employee wellness programs aim to improve family health in order to improve the overall wellness of the individual employee.

The basic idea behind employee wellness programs is to align the needs of the company with those of the individual in order to implement a more cost effective solution to health care. The programs education focuses on reducing the need for health care in the future by preventing health problems through education and training. This benefits both the employer and the employee as while the company reduces its outlay in medical cover the employee reaps the benefits of these programs.

While there has been no hard numerical evidence as to the value of employee wellness programs the qualitative substantiation is very apparent. Workplace wellness programs increase the productivity of the employee as well as contributing to their overall lifestyle. A happy and health workplace has proven to be a productive and effective one.

There are many resources online that will greatly aid in your Wellness Program search. Employee Wellness Programs Quotes is a fast and easy way to get quotes from many of the nation’s largest, most reputable Wellness Programs.

Where Wellness Fits In Employee Communications

Talking to employees about their health is a waste of time and resources; employees aren’t likely to take advice on their health from the company.

Hot on the heels of the conference, though, I caught the results of a survey from United Benefit Advisors, which talked to 1,746 employers representing a cross-section of industry groups, employee populations, and U.S. geographic regions. The results: Pretty much every employer in the country is looking to expand wellness initiatives. Companies want to lower the cost of the medical plans; healthier employees file fewer claims. They also want a more stable, productive workforce; sick employees who take a lot of time off aren’t as productive as healthy employees. Sorry to belabor the obvious.

Lower health care costs and higher productivity are not unreasonable goals, and a healthier workforce is not an unreasonable strategy for achieving those goals. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of employes believe workers can become better healthcare consumers if the company gives them the right tools. According to UBA co-founder David LoCascio,

Employer involvement is helping to manage the health of its workforce has been rapidly graining momentum. The old approach of simply hoping for good claims experience has not worked, and employers are increasingly assuming more responsibility and control in an effort to impact both plan costs and employee productivity.

Aside from his use of the word “impact” as a verb, LoCascio is right. And wellness initiatives designed to drive business results need to be communicated. The question is, how do internal communicators convey these messages without sounding irrelevant? Steve is right, too, that most employees will roll their eyes and dismiss a story on how taking the stairs instead of the elevator will help you meet your daily exercise goals. (In fact, Steve doesn’t really have a problem with wellness communication. In an email, he clarified that he has a problem with bad wellness communication: “I just hate it when people take the easy way out and run stupid “tips” that nobody will ever follow!”

Here are some suggestions for communicating wellness in a way that’s meaningful:

Monitor the company’s status-It’s often said that you can’t fix what you can’t measure. Report regularly on the company’s medical claims levels and the associated cost. If you can tie a reduction in claims to employee participation in wellness programs, so much the better!

Make the wellness-work connection, and make it personal-Interview employees about how involvement in company-sponsored wellness programs is affecting their work and their attitudes about the company.

Tie wellness initiatives into recruiting efforts-Offering wellness programs is a benefit; employees don’t need to seek similar programs at higher costs outside of work.

Produce an independent wellness communication vehicle-Separate wellness from other communications. This keeps your business communications focused on business and appearing less fluffy. It also shines the light on wellness and confirms that it’s a serious issue for the organization.

Use alternative channels for wellness communication-How about a wellness podcast? Or a wellness blog? Again, this keeps general internal communication and wellness communication separate, for the most part.

Tie wellness to news-If company productivity is an issue, make sure the fact that the company’s health insurance claims experience is factored into the coverage. Healthier employees could make a difference. And if you can link that to incentive pay, then you could even motivate employees to get healthier because it’s in their financial self interest.

Other thoughts?

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