With health care costs ever rising—PwC projects medical costs will grow 6.5 percent in 2017—companies are looking for ways to reduce health care costs. One popular approach is to employ wellness strategies. The theory is sound. Healthier employees would need less health care. But before employers commit time, money, and human resources to on-site efforts, they would do well to consider the do’s and don’ts of workplace wellness programs.
To support wellness or not, that is the question
When considering wellness programs, companies might want to get a sense of what other similar firms are doing. Research consultancies such as Aon Hewitt, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Towers Watson yield general trends. Companies like Google, Safeway, and Johnson & Johnson can add some program specifics to those survey bones.
A Wall Street Journal article lends some clarity to the power of incentives. The Rand Corporation and Harvard Business Review can shed some light on ROI. And a New York Times piece offers a contrary view about such programs’ effectiveness to begin with.
Wellness programs: What works, what doesn’t
As a benefit manager or human resource executive, you could spend a great deal of time looking into all those resources. Or you could just get the Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente) guide: Workplace wellness: What works, what doesn’t.
In addition to all the above, you’ll find the specific wellness programs employers find most impactful, what simple step a number of Fortune 500 companies are taking to improve employee health, and how health plans can help or hinder your efforts.