Focus on Employee Wellness

New Insights on Employee Wellness Programs

Human resource professionals now have quantifiable data to use in their quest to sell management on adding sponsored Employee Wellness Programs. According to a research report released in March 2015 by by Healthways, Inc., a 10% improvement in overall well-being netted a significant reduction in employee incidents, such as absenteeism and hospital stays, as compared to programs focused solely on physical health. Many employers have implemented so called “wellness” program in the past with limited positive results, due to the fact that majority of employees list their job as the biggest negative contributor to their well-being.


Focus on Employee Wellness

Wellness programs urged to focus on employees’ overall well-being

Employers can more deeply influence their employees’ health management habits by expanding their workplace wellness programs to account for a more comprehensive view of their workers’ overall well-being.

Though its exact definition can vary according to an employers’ benefits philosophy and the wellness service providers they partner with, “well-being” as a concept generally encompasses an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health, financial security, social comfort and professional fulfillment, experts said this week during the Integrated Benefits Institute’s 2015 Annual Forum in San Francisco.

According to data compiled and presented by Franklin, Tennessee-based health care consultant Healthways Inc., employees that achieve a 10% improvement in their overall well-being report on average 5% fewer unscheduled absences and a 24% reduction in presenteeism, as well as a 2.2% reduction in the likelihood of a hospital admission and a 1.7% drop in the likelihood of an emergency room visit.

“This is about more than the impacts of physical wellness and reducing health care costs,” Jim Purvis, Healthways’ vice president of well-being improvement, said during a case study presentation on Tuesday.

According to Healthways’ data, a health management strategy that embraces the full scope of an employee’s well-being is on average more than twice as effective at curbing productivity losses as a wellness program centered solely on physical health.

“That’s the value difference that CFOs are going to care about when it comes to offering a traditional wellness program and a program that embraces this broader definition of well-being, whether it’s our definition or someone else’s.”

Since integrating Healthways’ well-being assessment into its workplace wellness programs in 2011, the Irvine, California-based St. Joseph Health hospital system has seen a dramatic reduction in risky health and lifestyle behaviors among employees across its 16 facilities in California and Texas.

“We feel that the investment is meaningful, because we can see from the data that we are influencing our employees’ health and well-being,” said Elizabeth Glenn-Bottari, St. Joseph’s vice president and chief operating officer of integrative health.

From 2012 to 2014, the hospital system was able to reduce its number of at-risk employees in nine of 12 risk categories, including alcohol overuse, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, recreational medication use, low physical activity, stress and tobacco use.

“We’ve been able to cut some of these things by as much as 50%, so we feel like we’re doing some great work there,” Ms. Glenn-Bottari said.

Article Source: Business Insurance Website


A Program to Increase the Fitness of Every Employee’s Mind, Body, and Soul

Higher well-being is the outcome of a culture of great choices that create lives well-lived and careers that matter. Gallup’s research shows that employees thriving in all five elements of well-being:

* are 43% more likely to volunteer
* are 36% more likely to report a full recovery after an illness, injury, or hardship
* are more than twice as likely to say they always adapt well to change
* miss 41% less work as a result of poor health
* are 81% less likely to seek out a new employer in the next year

 
Organizations have tried to achieve higher employee well-being through corporate wellness programs, but these programs miss the mark on how to actually improve well-being and create impact. Gallup research shows that 60% of U.S. employees who work for companies with a wellness program know that the program exists, and only 40% of those who are aware of the program say they actually participate in it — that’s just 24% of employees participating. More importantly, of the employees participating in a company-sponsored wellness program, only 12% strongly agree that they have substantially higher overall well-being because of their employer. In fact, most employees see their job as a negative contributor to their overall well-being.

Most companies need to re-engineer their wellness programs. Unless well-being programs consider employees’ minds, bodies, and souls, they will fail. Gallup, in partnership with Healthways, has created a complete organizational well-being program that drives results by considering the ways employees live their lives, and in turn, perform at work. We define well-being in terms of five interrelated and interdependent elements: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. By focusing on these elements, Gallup can create a culture of well-being in your organization that enriches both your employees’ lives and your business performance.

Article Source: Gallup

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