Well-Being Programs Promote Long-Term Savings on Health Care Costs
By: Marcy Leonard, Well-Being Coordinator
The health of a company’s employees plays an obvious role on the costs of their health care plan. As premiums continue to rise, most employers would agree that passing along these increases to their employees year after year is a detriment to employee satisfaction and retention. Therefore, many employers are implementing well-being programs in an effort to gain long-term savings associated with a healthy workforce. The popularity of such programs continues to grow each year with recent studies indicating over 60% of employers offering some kind of well-being plan.
What is a Well-Being Program?
The most simplified definition is any type of program that helps employees stay healthy or can help them improve their health. They can either be ongoing or one-time activities but generally focus on healthy eating habits, exercise, and eliminating bad habits such as smoking. Taking it a step further, some companies choose to offer predictive services like biometric screenings, assistance with mental health, and disease management. These sought-after benefits not only attract and retain talent but can contribute to improving your bottom line.
Improving Your Bottom Line
Well-being programs can have a positive impact on a company’s profitably in measurable ways.
Curbing absenteeism. Healthier employees often correlate with a reduction in absenteeism.
Improving morale and productivity. People who are healthier are oftentimes happier which translates to being more energetic, better at problem solving, and increased productivity.
Increasing employee retention. Employees feel valued when their company invests in their well-being. It promotes a positive attitude which in turn, makes people more likely to stay at their jobs.
Saving money. Studies show that for every dollar spent on well-being activities, employers saved anywhere from $1 to $3 in health care costs.
While some companies may choose to seek outside resources to develop and manage their program, it’s beneficial to consider asking key employees who are passionate about instituting well-being ideas to get started. The design of a well-being program is quite flexible as there are few rules that businesses must follow regarding such plans. Well-being should be tailored and made relevant to your employees. Many companies start small and ask their employees what activities they would be interested in. Participation is often encouraged by incentives such as reduced health care premiums and awarding points toward prizes or paid time off.
As a mid-sized employer ourselves, Roundstone is a firm believer of the long-term benefits in promoting well-being. We established our program in 2014, using an internal resource, and have continued to build upon our offering. Here’s a look at several features of our program.
- Annual biometric screening to identify any potential health risks.
- Quarterly review of Body Fat Index (BFI) to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
- A concierge service to assist in choosing the best possible care at an affordable price.
- Personal trainer availability and discounts on step tracking devices
- Local activities that employees can do together, i.e., 5K walk or run events
- Fun, interactive sessions to educate employees on a variety of health topics. Examples include yoga lessons, smoothie breaks, massages.
To help employers launch their own program, Roundstone has created a Well-Being Program template based on our success. Our goal is to help employers find ways to curb their overall medical spend, while motivating and encouraging employees to take care of themselves. Contact us if you have any questions or would like assistance in setting up your own well-being program.
About the Author:
Marcy Leonard, Program Analyst & Well-Being Coordinator
For more than 10 years, Marcy has provided program accounting and financial reporting for the captive business of Roundstone. In 2014, Roundstone launched its Well-Being Program with Marcy as its Program Coordinator, in addition to her other responsibilities. Over the past 5 years, the program has given employees tools to make their own difference and created many success stories along the way.