Wellness in the Workplace: The Challenges
Wellness in the Workplace: The Challenge of De-Centralized Direction
One of the biggest challenges for North American corporations over the past 25 years has been to address the explosion in health care costs related to employee benefit plans.
Viewed from an international perspective, businesses in the United States spend far more of their profits trying to maintain the health of their staff than any other nation in the world.
At issue is the overall lack of group wellness in the United States and the effect it has on industrial productivity. Health promotion is based on the rationale that wellness in the workplace would combat the general poor state of health in the American public sector. Because most Americans work somewhere, the logical choice to make improvements in group wellness is at the workplace.
Wellness in the Workplace: The Challenge of Statistics
For the most part, employees tend to show an initial interest in programs that promote wellness in the workplace, but participation usually decreases after a few weeks and ends up having little or no effect on company production levels, job performance, or ultimately, the costs of health care.
Part of the problem is that there is no centralized delivery of group wellness services and measurement tools are not standardized. The absence of consistent application methods serves to further complicate the lack of uniformity.
Many employers don’t know how to choose a wellness vendor or to adopt criteria that will assist them to select a wellness program that can address their issues. Because of this obstacle, many companies postpone the ordeal of designing programs that promote wellness in the workplace.
The lack of structure in the wellness industry also fails to produce uniform data which would strengthen the position of group wellness programs as an effective solution for reducing health risks across the country.
Wellness in the Workplace: New Entrepreneurs Provide Centralized Delivery
New entrepreneurial ventures, such as Wellness Proposals have emerged to deal with the complexities of promoting group wellness services in the workplace for companies who require direction and supportive services. Wellness Proposals provides an integrated service that addresses the need for uniformity and a comparable data base for evaluation purposes.
An accurate measure of group wellness programs in American economy has been difficult to establish. It is more often the case to need data that will measure productivity before and after the implementation of the group wellness program than it is to have it readily available.
Many smaller and privately owned companies lack access to quantified data banks that larger corporations can secure. This makes evaluation of wellness in the workplace interventions very difficult.
Also, because many businesses customize their group wellness plans, this limits the availability of comparable data that would enable universal values for assessing a return on the investment in group wellness.
Wellness in the Workplace: Removing Obstacles
Leaping over these hurdles in group wellness often leads some companies to pass the buck onto the employee which raises their contributions to an unaffordable level and creates friction in the workplace.
While inflating the co-pay and the deductible for other medical expenses will generate public attention on the problems of escalating health risks, actually implementing these negative options will not address the problem.
Gaining a centralized delivery for group wellness programs and adjusting the work environment to accept wellness in the workplace will remove some of the obstructions. The workplace is an excellent choice for raising awareness of American health issues and exerting health promotion efforts.
Writer Bio: John Bates is a leading wellness industry consultant and prolific writer about all aspects of health and wellness programs. His work can be found on numerous wellness websites including his own: Infinite Wellness Solution’s and Infinite Health Coach.