Health insurance costs can be reduced by promoting health employee lifestyles. Even though employee wellness programs have been around along time, it’s surprising to see how many small to medium size employers have yet to utilize these. Here are 3 easy programs you can implement that will help improve the health of your employees.
1. Step it up with a friendly competition
Make wellness contests fun. Offer free pedometers and promote an office steps competition. The benefits of physical activity in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of major chronic diseases are well recognized. Pedometers are inexpensive and simple to use. People like them because they give immediate feedback. A team-based program can be a good way to build excitement and keep interest up.
2. Get moving motivation
Encouraging staff to walk or cycle to work (or, if it’s too far, part of the way) can benefit the business and the individual, as well as having environmental benefits, such as reducing traffic congestion and parking issues. Have a walking meeting or offer longer lunch breaks so employees can have time to eat and also work out. Supply pedometers to help staff track their steps.
3. Quit it with a stop smoking program
Set up incentives to help employees stop smoking. Research shows that 70 percent of adult smokers want to quit completely; more than 40% try to quit for at least 24 hours each year. Worksite incentives and competitions offer rewards to people who quit; team-based approaches are especially effective. Financial incentives are well worth the investment. Smokers can cost businesses $4,000 – $6,000 per year more than non-smokers. Types of incentives that have been successful include premiums or deductibles, guaranteed financial payments, lottery chances for money or other prizes and return of self-imposed payroll withholding.
Making your wellness programs fun by encouraging participation in healthy behavior will go a long way. Incentive based programs help ensure employees won’t see the program as punitive in any way. Involve employees in planning events and give them choices. Implementing these, and other, wellness programs can go a long way toward supporting your employees.
When it comes to the health of your business, reach out to the experts at Lanier Upshaw and to find the upside of your risk. and turn problems into possibilities.