A healthy green smoothie in Mason Jar Mug

3 ingredients for success

In Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

The making of a healthy wellness program

3 ingredients for success

At the end of the day, our health and the health of our loved ones is all that really matters in life. While we can’t prevent or protect against all disease and illness, employer-sponsored wellness programs put the focus on health-conscious activities within your employees’ control.

A win-win for everyone

Wellness programs encourage and incent employees to take care of themselves by prioritizing healthy living, helping you meet the work/life balance needs of your employees.

Employers benefit from the side effects of a healthier workforce with:

  • increased productivity;
  • less absenteeism;
  • fewer workers’ compensation and disability claims;
  • reduced insurance premiums;
  • enhanced recruitment and retention of health-conscious employees;
  • decreased rates of injury;
  • improved employee relations and morale
The making of a healthy wellness program

Fast Facts

Integrating a wellness program into your engagement strategy has big payoffs. Gallup found employees who are engaged AND have high well-being scores are:

  • 27% more likely to report “excellent” performance in their job and by their organization
  • 37% more likely to fully recover from illness or injury
  • 59% less likely to look for another job within the next 12 months
  • 45% more likely to adapt well to change

Wellness Program Best Practices

Our complete Guide to Creating a Healthy Wellness Program identifies 5 best practices to consider when planning out your next program.

Here are 3 tips to get the juices flowing:

1. Design around your pain points

According to PWC’s 2016 Health and Wellness Touchstone Survey, over 70% of companies have tobacco cessation programs.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the right program for your organization. If tobacco use is not an issue across your company, maybe it’s not the best place to invest your time and resources.

The most common wellness initiatives
Source: PWC 2016 Health & Wellness Touchstone Survey

Identify your pain points by incenting employees to share information on their health and habits. Reward employees for answering questions on the health risk assessment (HRA) form or undergoing biometric screening. This helps you identify the health risks common across your workforce so you can pinpoint the right wellness program to launch.

2. Reward for participation

Sponsoring a wellness program is useless if nobody participates. PWC’s Health and Wellness survey found participation rates for wellness programs remain low unless incentives are offered.

We’ve found the best wellness programs use incentives to reward for both progress AND achievement:

  • Habits that are leading to healthier lifestyles – i.e.: earning points or rewards for activities such as working out 3 times/week or walking 10,000 steps a day
  • Achievement of certain health outcomes such as stopping smoking, lowering blood pressure or losing weight

CSI STARS helps clients design the right reward structure AND communicate how the program and points work with email messages, flyers, brochures, paycheck stuffers and recognition dashboard campaigns.

3. Measure results and ROI

Most companies will tell you they believe their wellness programs are effective but only 11% of employers in the pwc study actually measured their ROI. However, of those who measured, the vast majority (91%) found positive returns.

Quantify the results of your wellness program by conducting a HRA or biometric assessment before implementing your program, so you can measure the results six months and 12 months later by reviewing your employees’ usage and risk factor ratings.

Insurance plans are negotiated annually with rate changes based on your employees’ usage and risk factor rating so employees improved health scores can result in financial benefits to your organization. Employees who achieve improved health outcomes such as lower blood pressure or smoking cessation can actually reduce your organization’s yearly benefit premiums or cost-sharing fees.

Reap the results of higher energy levels, better morale, less absenteeism and fewer disability claims while improving the physical, financial and emotional wellbeing of your workforce. A win-win for all!

You just need to get started!

To learn how you can add well-being to your engagement programs, check out this great Gallup article, Download our guide to Creating a Healthy Wellness Program or speak with one of our experienced recognition consultants.

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.