Everyday employers look to workplace wellness programs to control healthcare costs, improve employee morale and boost overall productivity.
The problem is, the program approach tends to be off-base. Employers offer a one-time health risk assessment (HRA), or an expensive biometric screening + dollar incentive and wait for the results listed above.
We find this approach is like cutting bread with a spoon. It leaves you with mushed bread and lack luster results.
While HRAs & Biometrics can have a place in wellness, they shouldn’t be the beginning and the end of it.
Why doesn’t this type of approach work? It boils down to a few fundamental issues:
1. HRA and Biometrics don’t CHANGE behavior
They only allow the employee to become aware of the problem. This approach doesn’t offer them the motivational tools to make changes to their daily lifestyle.
2. It doesn't improve morale
When was the last time you heard employees chat about the riveting HRA they just completed? Your wellness program needs initiatives that can spark conversation and comradery between employees.
3. It's not a year-round program
In a matter of 20 minutes, an employee can earn significant dollars for an entire year with a Biometric or HRA.
The truth is, improving and maintaining health is a result of the choices that are made minute-by -minute and day-by-day. How can taking a biometric help keep us on track throughout the year as we face the choices of what to eat, whether to exercise, staying awake another hour and so on. Year-round programming that engages more than the same group of people can impact those choices on a daily basis.
4. It doesn't factor in environment and culture
As we face these tough choices during our work hours, the unhealthy choice is often encouraged by the work environment: poor food choices, no options for movement,limited flex-time,and leaders not supporting healthy options.
So, how can you bring more meaningful results to wellness?
By focusing the attention on building a year-round program with strategic, well-intentioned goals, and behavior changing initiatives you can start to see a visible change in your culture and the health of your individuals.
Or, said another way, by cutting your bread with a knife rather than a spoon, we’re confident you’ll bring more meaning to your wellness program.