Managing assets wisely is the hallmark of every successful company. Today’s highly competitive environment shines a spotlight on the one resource you depend on most, your employees. Productivity and profitability, intimately tied to worker performance, are suffering due to an alarming rise in obesity and poor health. Many employers now offer a company wellness programs and institute policies designed to promote healthy lifestyle changes. More than talk, the approach includes a wide range of information, support and healthy lifestyle incentives including cash rewards and gift cards.
The Impact of Poor Employee Health:
- Reduced employee alertness
- Poor performance
- Reduced productivity
- Higher insurance costs
F for Fat
The average worker in the United States is fatter and gets sick more often today. The CDC reports an alarming rise in obesity. By 2030, half of all Americans will be obese and their employers left to deal with dramatic increases in lost time and profits due to obesity related illness. A proactive approach to worker health offers positive reinforcement for healthy behaviors that benefit both workers and their employer.
Your company, your employees and your profits don’t have to suffer.
Join the growing number of employers already instituting vigorous wellness programs for their workers. According to research conducted by the national Business Group on Health, nearly 90% of all employers now offer some type of company wellness program. For many it involves a combination of education and incentives with sponsored activities like gym membership and weight control programs.
Start with Education
Healthy workers are more alert, they miss less time from work and are more productive. Getting your workforce to that point begins with education and information. One way that many employers attack the issue is by providing health fairs on company property. Healthcare and wellness professionals come on site and set up tables to do healthcare screenings and offer tips on how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Employees touring the health fair get their blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other vital statistics checked for free. Doctors, dentists and physical fitness professionals can come to the fair armed with information and incentives for participation provided by you, the employer. Offering a free $50 gift card for completing a health screening or joining a weight loss program is an ideal way to encourage employee attendance and participation.
Another approach to start with involves group sessions. Make some time during scheduled working hours to have employee meetings with invited guest speakers dealing with health and wellness topics. After the speech, roll out your wellness program and explain why it is to their benefit to participate. Combining education with motivation, your employees will perceive real rewards for taking steps to get healthy.
Company sponsored weight loss/weight management programs produce positive results for workers taking advantage of them. Some employers encourage participation with the old carrot and stick approach. Workers who take part in health and wellness activities, lose weight or give up harmful tobacco addictions are rewarded. Workers not involved could be penalized with higher insurance premiums or other negative incentives.
Perhaps the most effective approach, providing results-based incentives encourages participation in wellness programs with a combination of reward and recognition. Your company might offer discount membership in a weight management program as part of the company “biggest loser” competition. The employee losing the most weight over a pre-set time period gets is given an award by the company, public recognition in the local media and a $500 gift card to shop for healthy food.
The idea is to encourage active participation and results. Tailor your wellness program and incentives focusing on these factors and promoting a healthy workplace environment. Visit GiftCard Partners to learn more about incorporating incentives like gift cards into your company wellness outreach efforts.