Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wellness Programs

Companies nowadays big or small are experiencing more expenditure in providing health-insurance premiums on its employees.

Consider the fact that sometimes your employees can phone in sick, maybe it won’t hurt the productivity if the absent employee is just one, what if there’s numerous employee who said they are sick and can’t go to work on an specific date?

The answer is to resorts into a system called Wellness Programs, which brings dramatic impact on the company's productivity and bottom line.

Wellness Approach

Wellness program is a monitoring process whereas; at-work health screening is done once every year to asses the health risk of employees.

This covers on the spot check ups with:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Pulmonary function

Mental health is also assessed. A follow up exam with a company physician or any chosen health provider of the company is required which is personalized according the age and gender of the employee.

Crucial point is that, federal law prohibits discriminating against workers because of health status; so the best practice is to provide incentives to an employee that participates in health-screening program.

Companies can also promotes physical health by offering aerobics classes at work and stocking low fat foods on it’s snack counters, company restaurant and vending machines in the premises. The best idea is to offer the low fat products with discounted price than that of the regular food that contains high level of risk causing ingredients

Eventually, the company can think of more holistic approach on this aspect

To address employees issues beyond physical health can bring high impact on a employees sense of well-being. By offering core groups that address problems such as:

  • Workplace disputes
  • Addressing problems with parenting
  • And on how to care for elderly parents

Offering flexible work time for employees with these kinds of issues can bring a good impact to the overall growth of the company as a whole.

Seven Steps to Workplace Wellness

If you want a solid improvement on workplace and it’s workforce you need to set goals and devise a strategy for achieving them. Visit the Wellness Program Web site (http://www.infinitewellnesssolutions.com) to find the resources you need to carry out your own plan.

* Secure the support of top management. Any change will be driven from the top.

* Appoint a wellness team to oversee the effort.

* Collect some form of data (establish a weight-loss benchmark for each employee)

* Create a simple plan and set simple goals. (e.g. losing a pound a week)

* Choose the appropriate intervention. (Provide information on healthy eating and exercise as part of daily schedule).

* Create a supportive environment. (Consider designating or building walking trails around your company grounds, or providing shower facilities so employees can clean up after bicycling to work)

Carefully evaluate outcomes. (If result isn't being achieved, change the intervention or make the environment even more supportive)

John Harris, principal of Harris HealthTrends, a pays to remember this: “The health and happiness of your employees has a direct impact on your company's financial health.”

Adapted from: MSN Small Business Web
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