According to a Towers Watson & Co. report, in 2012 U.S. companies’ per-employee health care costs are expected to increase 5.9 percent, to $11,664. The same report indicates a 34% rise in health care costs per employee this year. Companies are obviously concerned with health care costs, and with conditions such as heart disease and diabetes stemming from unhealthy lifestyles and excess weight, employers must concern themselves with healthy lifestyles that begin at work.
Employers are using diverse sets of tools to encourage healthy lifestyles. Some are using gaming techniques, where employees either work in teams, or compete against each other to reach health goals. Some organizations use mobile apps with social components to help employees track diet and exercise, and can create peer support as the app is used by employees all over the office.
However your organization chooses to set up health and wellness programs, it is important to incentivize employees and use rewards for motivation. Rewards, such as gift cards to retail outlets that will continue to support employees’ healthy lifestyles such as the CVS/Pharmacy Select Card, which filters out unhealthy purchases, helps to provide support to employees. Making healthy lifestyle adjustments makes employees healthier, more productive, and lowers costs for the organization.