Creating A Culture Of Well Being

Creating A Culture Of Well Being

Creating A Culture Of Well Being

Why the health of your employees can improve your bottom line.

By Marc Pieroni

As a benefits consultant, I am often asked by small-business owners how to cut the cost of health care premiums.  One of the best and most effective ways is to create a culture of well-being in the workplace.  The cost of health care is rising and it is projected to continue to rise if businesses and individuals continue on the same path.

Employers are spending more today than ever before on the poor health of their employees.  A majority of this spending is on diseases and illnesses caused by modifiable behaviors that affect health-plan costs.  The way to lower these costs is to slow the deterioration of health in your workplace by reducing the risks and helping the higher-risk employees manage their conditions.

By proactively developing health and wellness programs, a culture of well-being evolves in the workplace and employers will begin to see an improvement in the overall health of employees, which leads to greater productivity and improved revenue.

How do you change this course for your business?

Well, it takes a little more than posting a copy of the food pyramid in your break room.  It’s a commitment and a plan that needs to be developed and shared by the entire organization.

A few places to start would be the following:

  • Identify your employees’ health status and help your employees know their own risks through biometric screenings and health assessments.
  • Focus on getting high participation and engagement for the programs.
  • Make a plan and set goals.  Evaluate progress and adjust as needed to get results.
  • Create an incentive program to encourage participation.

Employers who foster a culture of well-being are likely to have a healthy workforce with more productivity and less absenteeism.

A recent study showed that implementing a culture of wellness gets results:

  • 11% higher revenue per employee
  • 28% higher shareholder return
  • 18-28% lower medical costs per employee
  • 37% higher sales
  • 31% higher productivity
  • 3 x higher creativity

Seeing the cost benefits of a healthier workforce, the Affordable Care Act provides that on January 1, 2014, the maximum reward to employers using health contingent wellness programs will increase from 20% to 30% of the cost of health coverage.  Additionally, the maximum reward for programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use will be as much as 50%.

A few more statistics show the effect of absenteeism on the employer:

  • Unhealthy workers’ absenteeism costs employers more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year.
  • Every day an employee calls in sick, it costs the average employer $341 per missed day.
  • 38% of all absences are related to health issues.

Where do you focus?  Well, part of developing a culture of wellness begins with helping your employees improve modifiable lifestyle habits.  There are 8 behaviors that create 15 conditions which are responsible for 80% of all chronic illness costs:

Modifiable Behaviors

Physical inactivity
Poor diet
Alcohol consumption levels
Poor standard of care compliance
Poor stress management
Insufficient sleep
Lack of health screening


Coronary Artery Disease
Heart failure
Chronic kidney disease
Back pain
The return on investment (ROI) is clear!

Studies have shown that $5.50 is saved in absenteeism and
medical costs for every $1 spent on health improvement initiatives. 

The bottom line is when a business promotes an environment that focuses on health and well-being, it will protect profits and present a healthy image for its customers.

Marc Pieroni is the Managing Partner of BenefitCorp, a commercial insurance consulting agency founded in 1995.  Marc is dedicated to helping businesses implement, administer and communicate all lines of insurance and financial products.  Please call Marc at 972-480-0109.

Vince Fudzie – the blogger’s Reality Bite:  It has been my experience that significant absenteeism for an employee causes a lack of productivity from that employee but also has viral consequences in that it affects the productivity and morale of others in the company.

Basically, other employees may see the often-absent employees as benefiting from additional time off, so why should they work harder?

The Punch List is Triune’s proprietary blog for discussing issues and providing insights specific to the commercial construction industry. Copyright 2013 TMV, LLC (Triune). Any and all rights reserved.

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