Just as an athletic trainer wouldn’t prescribe the same training schedule for a marathon runner as he would a causal exerciser, a one-size-fits-all corporate wellness program doesn’t meet the needs of every company. A health improvement program can increase employee morale and retention, boost productivity, reduce absenteeism and workers’ compensation claims and ultimately contain costs through healthier, happier employees—but only if the program is designed with those employees and the company’s end goal in mind.
At Higginbotham, our health risk management consultants perform a strategic analysis of your workforce and assist in designing, implementing and measuring a sustainable program that addresses the unique demographics, employee benefits, communication practices and culture of your company. We will help you build a strong foundation for a successful program by utilizing best practices, addressing compliance issues and designing a program based on these proven strategies:
1. Engage management
- Employee participation is higher and program success is greater when senior leadership integrates the wellness program into the company’s overall business strategy and serves as role models.
2. Define accountability
- Designating a champion to oversee the program is critical to success and sustainability.
3. Create awareness
- Increasing knowledge of social, mental and physical issues and risk factors inspires behavioral change and initiates healthier lifestyle decisions.
- Develop a committee comprised of a cross-representation of the employee population that serves as the voice of your population and provides a sense of employee ownership.
- Create a brand identity for the program with a logo and mission statement that mirror your corporate branding and values.
- Conduct a confidential employee survey that gages employee interest and concerns so your program reflects the needs of your population and facilitates engagement.
- Administer a health risk assessment questionnaire that asks employees about their physical health, lifestyle safety risks and readiness to change, giving them feedback on their personal risk factors and the company aggregate data to design and measure the program.
- Offer health screenings to make your employees aware of their current health status.
- Develop an incentive strategy that rewards employees with bonuses, gift cards, premium reductions, merchandise and recognition for engaging in the program throughout the year.
4. Educate employees
- Confidential, personalized interactions like one-on-one health coaching can boost participation and improve the effectiveness of your initiatives. Other educational tools include short emails, monthly newsletters, seminars and worksite challenges.
5. Measure success
- Setting tangible goals and periodically analyzing data like medical claim costs, risk reduction, engagement, employee morale, productivity and absenteeism gives the company feedback on what’s working and what needs refining. The program also must allow employees to measure their success and realize improvement that motivates sustained behavior change.