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In episode 5 of “The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan talk to Laura, who has taken charge of wellness programs in healthcare and consulting organizations. Topics include why you might (or might not) want to have a wellness program, how to decide what kind of program works for your organization, and return on investment.
Over half of employers in the US have some type of wellness program, which could range from having healthy snacks in the breakroom to pedometers to full-scale check-ups. Benefits for the employer include savings on healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, increased engagement and productivity, and more connection with coworkers.
Most wellness programs are focused on lifestyle management (like healthy snacks, gym memberships, and teams for fundraiser walks), chronic disease management (like health risk assessments and biometric screenings), or some combination of the two. They’re most effective when they’re tailored specifically to the group; for example, some organizations may thrive on competition, while others may be turned off by a point program or other program with competitive aspects. Gym memberships can go either way, as well; some companies pay for gym memberships that no one uses, while other companies use the gym membership as a selling point for candidates, who really want to use it.
It can be hard to determine a return on investment for your wellness program – some sources claim that you’ll save $0.50 per dollar for each healthy employee with a lifestyle management program, and $3.80 for disease management programs. To determine an ROI, you have to focus on the chronic disease management piece, because the key is what you prevented; the employee who didn’t have a heart attack worked more than they would have had you not implemented the program.
In this episode’s listener mail, Frank from Evansville asks how he can participate in a wellness program without his employer getting confidential medical results. JoDee and Susan also discuss Facebook allowing companies to post job openings on the site beginning in the middle of February 2017.