Why you need to evolve your corporate wellness program


Corporate wellness is top of mind for many organizations, and it’s easy to see why. Studies show that employers who offer employee wellness programs can incur lower health costs, and experience reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and buoyed employee morale. However, employers who want to drive employee engagement and well-being will need to change their approach on how they manage these programs.

Corporate wellness program options

Most wellness programs offer benefits that aid in healthy lifestyle choices or medical screening assessments.

Healthy lifestyle programs typically consist of discounted gym membership, or subsidized smoking cessation and weight management programs. The problem is that these programs can be challenging for the majority of the workforce to adopt due to time and cost commitments.

Wellness programs also consist of screening and biometric assessments, which, based on the employee’s health status, can aid in the development of actionable plans for healthier outcomes.

Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), like annual physicals, cancer screenings, blood pressure, or cholesterol monitoring, have the advantage of catching problems employees are experiencing earlier on. They can also prescribe actions that can lower the employee’s risk of significant health problems and healthcare costs.

These screenings are considered most valuable to the employee because of the potential for improved quality of life and longevity. They’re also valuable for the employer, as they can reduce absenteeism and lower per member health care costs.

In fact, a Rand Corporation Wellness Program study found the disease management components of wellness programs account for 86 percent of savings. This is equivalent to $136 in savings per member, per month. Further, it was found to aid in a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions.

Alignment with employee health goals

According to the 2019/2020 Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, employers are more likely to have success if they align their wellness incentives with specific employee health goals. With rising healthcare costs and the need for improved benefits to stay competitive, employee wellness programs can play a critical role in reducing cost and improving productivity.

If employers want to create long-term behavior changes, they need to rethink how their programs are designed and incented. This is because employees respond better when supported and empowered to make the choice. Further, when offering a financial incentive, there is a higher likelihood of program adoption.

However, the study also warns that financial rewards are most effective when used in specific ways, such as discrete tasks that offer an immediate payout.

How much are top companies spending on corporate wellness?

According to a the Fidelity Corporate Health and Wellbeing Survey, the average amount companies spend per-employee for wellness incentives is $762. When looking at future spend, one in three employers indicated they plan to continue to increase the amount of financial incentives for employees over the next 3-5 years.

Employers need to continually review their plan offerings to ensure they’re market competitive, but most importantly, that they’re meeting the needs of their employees. Moving forward, it will be of great importance for employers to address more robust mental health and telehealth options.

How can employers improve wellness program participation?

As these well-being initiatives evolve, so does their average annual budget and number of employees dedicated to managing these programs. In 2020, the average budget for well-being programs increased to $4.9 million in 2020, up 36 percent over 2019.

Employee wellness programs can play a critical role in reducing cost and improving productivity. While there’s no doubt that these programs are helpful, it can be hard to increase the annual incentives. Employers that effectively use engagement strategies and tailored communications can drive higher wellness engagement rates, creating significant savings on health plan costs.

Wellfleet Workplace can help improve wellness program participation. Our Health Screening Benefit provides a cash incentive up to $150 for the employee and each eligible family member enrolled. Claims can easily be submitted over the phone, and are typically paid out within one business day.*

What’s even better, is that there’s more than 50 covered screening events! Here are just some of the screenings we provide benefits for:

  • Annual physicals
  • Flu shots
  • Breast MRI
  • COVID-19 Screening or Vaccine
  • Dermatological screenings for skin cancer
  • Colonoscopy
  • Stress test
  • Well child visits
  • Sports physicals
  • More!

Contact us, for more information on how our wellness benefits can help align your client’s wellness programs.

*Time may vary based on selected benefit and completeness of information submitted.

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