By Marcy Leonard, Program Analyst / Wellness Coordinator
The growth of wellness programs in small and mid-size companies is exploding. Employers can leverage these programs to improve employee health, while controlling health care costs. This can be accomplished with minimal investment.
At Roundstone, we were a small company of 30 employees when we launched our wellness program in 2014. I was asked to coordinate the program, in addition to my other responsibilities in the Accounting Department. Our wellness program gave employees the tools to make a difference in their health. Here are just a few of our many employee success stories:
- A group of first-time runners, trained together and completed a 5K.
- One employee used company sponsored strength training sessions to quickly recover from surgery.
- Employees use nutrition and exercise resources provided by Roundstone to literally transform themselves. Our “biggest loser” has lost 75 lbs. and 17% body fat.
Now at 50+ employees and growing, our focus is on those elements that can impact the cost of wellness: biometrics, body fat, preventative care and informed individual medical spend. It is straightforward and verifiable. Here is what we expect as part of our program:
- Participate in an annual 49 pt. Biometric Screening. Understand what your own risks may be, and work with your Physician.
- Maintain or improve your BFI, Body Fat Index, as measured on a quarterly basis.
- Visit your Primary Care Physician once a year.
- Participate in a “Concierge” service to assist in choosing quality providers and competitive pricing.
As you can see from our example, a wellness program is easy to start, even for small businesses. Below are some suggested best practices for a lasting program:
- Incentives and rewards can draw positive attention to the program, and retain participation.
- Use step trackers, find local activities that employees can do together, and take group walks outside.
- Partner with an athletic training professional for expertise.
- Educate employees, using Lunch and Learn sessions to focus on the many facets of well-being.
To help employers further, Roundstone has created a “Health Incentives” wellness program template based on our success, to help small businesses launch their own wellness program. Our goal is to help employers find ways to curb their overall medical spend, while motivating and encouraging employees to take care of themselves. The incentives will reduce the employee’s health plan individual contributions.
We would be very happy to speak with you if you have any questions or would like to know more about setting up your own wellness program using our Health Incentives template.