Wellness Programs – The Key to A Healthier More Productive Workforce And Reduced Employee Benefits Costs
With the dramatic increase in chronic diseases, obesity rates and other health related issues, employees and employers face significant challenges related to health care costs and perhaps more importantly our well-being as individuals. As the nation debates the relative merits of various health care reforms, many organizations have decided to move forward with their own measures to improve the well-being of their employees through the implementation of wellness programs. Wellness programs are a positive and effective way to engage employees in the improvement of their health and to reduce the risk factors associated with many diseases. Today, some leaders of companies now see it as a moral imperative to support their employees in their effort to improve their level of wellness. From an economic perspective, it is a win-win for both employees and employers since over time healthier employees translate to less cost for insurance premiums. The Crichton Group has adopted this forward-thinking approach by partnering with Wellness Inc. to improve the health and well-being of its own employees and now offers the services of Wellness Inc. to employee benefits clients.
A Case Study – An Employee Wellness Program in Action
As one of Tennessee’s premier employers, Pinnacle Financial Partners is constantly seeking to improve the workplace, enhance productivity and contain costs where appropriate. Recently, the company has been contemplating steps they can take to support the health and well-being of employees and contain the cost of healthcare over time. According to Rachel West, Chief People Officer, “Initially we wanted to make employees more conscious of health care costs and how to use their benefits wisely. From that point, we wanted to develop a wellness program that would engage employees in improving their individual level of wellness.” The Crichton Group introduced Pinnacle to Wellness Inc. and the two organizations then started working together to set up and implement Pinnacle’s wellness program.
Initially, the company started the health assessment phase of the program where tests were administered, health evaluations were conducted and confidential health profiles were developed for each employee. The assessment phase was required to secure a discount on the employee-contribution portion of their health insurance premium. In many cases, the information developed for each employee enabled them to take action on health related issues early before complications seriously impacted their health. In aggregate, Pinnacle now has a better understanding of the overall health of their workforce and the steps they can take to improve outcomes. It is important to understand that all employee health information is held confidential by Pinnacle and not released to insurance companies or others. Since the assessment phase, Pinnacle has embarked upon a variety of wellness activities to support their employees efforts to become healthier.
What services does Wellness Inc. provide to clients? The company provides a broad array of services specifically designed to help employees reach a higher level of wellness as individuals. As a result, organizations develop into healthier companies collectively. The services Wellness Inc. provides include, on-site health screening services including blood testing, health risk assessments, health education, health coaching services, biometric measurements, wellness plans for each employee and design of organization wide wellness plans. Marilyn Crawford, Director of Sales and Marketing for Wellness, Inc. states, “Pinnacle Financial Partners has emerged as a leader in the Nashville market in being proactive towards health management and supporting wellness.”