Six common mistakes to avoid in Company Wellness Programs

June 12, 2014

According to a 2009 study by Kalorama Information, U.S. companies lose $160 billion each year to health-related productivity lapses, on top of $60 billion due to general absenteeism. With the cost of health insurance premiums rising steeply, companies are focusing on keeping employees healthy and engaged in order to have some net-positive effect on overall healthcare costs.

According to a 2013 study by the Rand Corporation, more than 80% of U.S. companies with at least fifty employees provide Wellness Programs for their employees to achieve this goal. These programs enable companies to promote good health and vitality through basic health assessments and education.

However, an effective Wellness Program involves a holistic approach to promoting good health – not just assessment and education, but also tools for setting and achieving health-oriented goals, ever-present encouragement of healthy decisions, and a concrete plan for evaluating progress. As such, the following are six common mistakes to avoid when executing a Company Wellness Program.

  1. Don’t impose goals; empower employees to set their own goals.
  2. Provide guidance on the sort of activity and lifestyle changes that help employees achieve their goals.
  3. Collect verifiable, measured health data, not self-reported data, for health assessments.
  4. Encourage health and vitality amongst family members as well.
  5. Engage in intelligent reporting of annual Wellness results vis-à-vis healthcare costs.
  6. Establish benchmarks at the outset of a Wellness Program in order to identify areas of need and evaluate long-term success.

For more information on how to provide a successful, cost-effective Wellness Program, don’t hesitate to contact Affiliated Physicians.

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