Citing greater participation rates and easier implementation, a wellness consultant thinks small companies have the edge in implementing wellness programs.
If you’ve been keeping up with business news, you know that Toyota Motor Company has just become the biggest maker of motor vehicles in the world.
Toyota is stepping out in another way as well … in wellness programs. The New York Times reports that, as an adjunct to its massive new Texas truck plant, Toyota has opened a $9 million, 20,000 sq. ft. medical center. They’re not the only non-health-related giant to get into the health and wellness business rather than have their employees go elsewhere, with a resultant rise in insurance costs. Some 100 of the nation’s 1,000 largest companies are following the same path, reports the Times.
Do you have to be a multi-billion dollar mega-corp to promote wellness among your employees? Absolutely not, says Brian Passon, a Connecticut wellness consultant, as reported on the web site, Managing Your HR. “Small businesses have the upper hand on big businesses when it comes to wellness,” he declares.
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Passon bases his reasoning on the closeness employees enjoy in smaller companies. It’s easier to reach workers with wellness messages, and as friends as well as fellow workers, employees often partake in wellness activities together and support each others’ goals. “Smaller firms get higher rates of participation and generally do not have to work as hard in implementing their programs,” he says.
But how difficult are such plans to design and implement? For this answer, we turn to a brand new BLR guide titled Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI. These are the steps the book lays out in creating and operating a plan at your workplace:
–Create a Wellness Champion Among Senior Management. Likely not difficult, once you explain the human and economic payback and the fact that, according to several studies, return on wellness program investments can be up to 300 percent, generated by reduced insurance costs and productivity gains. Workplace Wellness gives you a template to use in convincing your “champion,” and it advises that you involve him or her in all the steps that follow.
–Assess the Current Level of Wellness at Your Workplace. Do this through surveys and checklists that inquire what specific health concerns there are for your industry and operation. The book provides the forms to do it.
–Create a Customized Operating Plan. This should include writing a mission statement, setting goals and timelines, and assigning responsibility. (The book follows the SMART method … creating a plan that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed.) You’ll also need to consider whether to outsource fitness and training resources, and how your plan interfaces with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other laws.
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–Launch Your Program. Use creativity, says Workplace Wellness, with such measures as running a contest to name the program and in coming up with appropriate rewards. The book suggests (and gives detailed direction on how to run) a health fair.
–Communicate, Educate, Motivate, Empower. Build wellness into your company’s operations and culture, suggests the book. One example: Establish a regular wellness announcement time at department meetings. Motivate with incentives, and empower by letting the workers run the program as much as possible.
–Measure, Assess, and Adjust. There are numerous metrics to show how well your program is working, from improvements in absentee rates and health insurance premiums to changes in weight and cholesterol. The book provides a full set of assessment tools.
If you’d like to examine Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI, on a no-cost, no obligation basis, for 30 days, we’ve arranged for you to do so. Click below and we’ll be happy to set it up.
Improve Your Company’s Health … and its Bottom Line!
Studies show you can do both with a well-planned wellness program. Now BLR has a brand new complete guide to help you easily set one up, and achieve both a healthier workforce and an ROI that could exceed 300 percent! It’s called Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI. Try it FREE for 30 days! Learn more.