2013's Top Business Strategy...
Every HR departments goal...
Improving a company’s P&L is the goal of every management team and HR department. However, with the poor economy we have experienced the last several years most companies have been forced to reduce their budgets and are looking for additional ways to improve their bottom line. One major area of focus is the increasing costs associated to unhealthy employees and health insurance.
Over the past 5 years most corporations have noticed a steep rise in health insurance costs. Most companies report that their health insurance costs have doubled since 2002. Despite the promises of health care reform, insurance companies are seeking for and gaining 10-20% increases in rates each year. These increases are strangling corporation’s ability to stay profitable.
The most costly claims paid by insurance companies are associated with diseases related to obesity and smoking; both are preventable and both lead to increased rates of absenteeism and presenteeism or lost production while at work. Statistically, the average employee who is severely obese, weighing 80 lbs or more, cost corporations as much as $6000 more per year compared to healthy weight employees.
What to do?
In an effort to decrease insurance costs corporations have adopted many wellness activities and programs such as; health screenings, gym memberships, contests and incentives, all of which produce little or no lasting results and are informational rather than educational. These programs are developed with good intentions; however by themselves they don’t produce the results corporations are looking for.
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Three Types of Employees
Creating a culture of health and fitness takes time, but the results spread beyond just saving money on health insurance. An October 2011 Gallup study categorized employees into three groups: engaged employees, not-engaged employees and actively disengaged employees. What they found was the actively disengaged employees not only undermined what the engaged employees accomplished, but were also the unhealthiest employees. The takeaway is that unhealthy employees not only cost corporations more in health insurance costs but also have unquantifiable costs due to low morale and lost productivity. Healthy employees not only save the corporation in insurance costs but also help to create a positive work environment.
Our Healthcare System Is Broken
No one would disagree that our health care system is broken and that insurance costs are out of control. Despite these facts, there is much that can be done to mitigate their effects. Corporations can help their employees get healthy through a variety of resources.
Diets statistically have an 85% failure rate within 2 years without behavioral modifications. For employees wanting to lose weight, connecting them with a Health Coach can make all the difference to their success. Some resources even offer one on one health coaching services for free. There are also Free group wellness classes. Individuals are instructed on a variety of topics and will learn healthy lifestyle habits that produce lasting long-term health. Lastly, there are on-line educational programs that teach employees lifestyle changes, workplace safety and injury prevention. These programs can be customized and give employers the ability to track employee’s completion of the program to use for incentives and discounting employee portions of health insurance.
Corporate Strategies For 2013
Helping employees to become healthy is a great way to control the rising costs of insurance as well as increasing productivity, morale and the overall happiness of employees. Those companies who focus their efforts on wellness will also see an increase in corporate loyalty and will find it easier to attract higher quality employees. An investment in health not only saves money but pays dividends far beyond the P&L!
For a Free consultation on how we can help your corporation, contact us at: 1-855-GET-HLTH (438-4584) or click here.