With the cost of employer-provided health care benefits rising yearly, to almost $15,000 per employee in 2019, large U.S. employers are looking for ways to lower their premiums. Although sometimes viewed as ineffective and trendy, wellness programs are an incredibly important tool to consider incorporating into your company’s health care approach. Begin saving money viewing healthcare as a whole, rather than a single program farmed out to an outside firm.
For instance, when Motorola studied its wellness program, they found that for every dollar they invested in their employees’ overall wellness, they saved $3.93. This becomes especially important when you consider that employees at risk for depression can increase premiums by 70%. Imagine the costs when they are actually diagnosed and treated for it!
Treating your health care program with a whole mind and body wellness approach benefits everyone. Your bottom line goes down while your employees’ morale, health, and productivity will soar!
Use the carrot, not the stick.
No matter what benefits you choose to employ, make sure they are presented in a positive way! Incentivize, promote, and encourage your way to a successful wellness program. Berating or punishing employees for their non-participation will not increase participation. In fact, the morale will plumate and resentment for management will skyrocket. The carrot doesn’t have to be a large prize, but what is important is that it further the cause. Wearable fitness devices, a free or discounted gym membership, the afternoon or day off to do something active are all fantastic incentives!
Known for having one of the most generous work-life balances of a retail store, the outdoor retail co-operative REI is a great example. Bi-annual “Yay Days” are a type of floating holiday that are meant to be used “engaging in their favorite outdoor activity or helping create access to inspirational places through stewardship.” Activities do not have to be anything as ambitious as scaling Mt. Rainier or rock climbing in Yosemite. Going for a walk with the dog or having a picnic lakeside are perfectly acceptable outdoor, yet still active, activities that meet the requirement. Not only a huge hit with their employees,
Whether you choose to use carrots or sticks, they must be used on a short-term basis. Neither can subsist on their own.
Invest in Healthier Options
Changing a workplace culture requires not only giving healthier options for your employees but making sure those options are seen and known by all. Chances are that even if your office doesn’t have a cafeteria or provide food, there are still vending machines in the breakroom. Generally filled with candy and chips, try swapping out for healthier options like granola bars, seeds and nuts, and air-popped popcorn. Consider bringing more plants into the office as they provide a multitude of benefits ranging from improved air quality to lowering stress and raising productivity!
But creating a wellness program is not just about healthy snacks and greenery. Exercise is a vital part of any whole approach to health and wellness. Encouraging small and healthy choices is as important as the larger ones. Adding signs about the small, everyday choices one can make in the office is cheap, easy, and effective. This includes taking the stairs and taking breaks from sitting at the desk to stand and stretch. The larger choices, like dedicating an hour to physical activity can be difficult for many people to make. Ameliorate this by providing fun and active options on site for your employees to use. Incurring high expenses, fitness centers and pools are popular choices, but often require attendees and lots of maintenance.
Sport Court: The Safer Solution
Sport Court® Game Courts are the perfect addition to your company’s wellness program. With the option to add the colors, branding, and sports of your choice, they are fully customizable. If you are looking for the flexibility to pivot from a pick-up game of basketball into an inter-departmental pickleball or volleyball league after work, these courts give you those options! Flexibility is the name of the game for any wellness program. What works for one employee may not interest the other. Empowering your employees to make their own choices about their wellness is what makes for a successful program. A Sport Court® Game Court allows them the space for a yoga session, team building activities, or a place to release and unwind after a stressful day.
When implementing a wellness program to lower healthcare costs, the last thing you want to do is increase the company’s own liability insurance in the process. This is one of the many reasons why Sport Court® focuses on safety. Designed to absorb shock, our unique multi-layer modular court prevents fatigue and injury. Plus, our patented Lateral Forgiveness technology protects knees and joints from repeated side-to-side movement. With a standard concrete or acrylic court, one need only fall from ¾ to 4 inches to experience a head injury. With Sport Court’s patented PowerGame™ surface on concrete, that jumps to 26” and an even more astounding 46” when layered over our SportBase™ foundation instead of concrete.
Although manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sport Court® is able to keep your costs low. Using top-quality materials chosen for their performance, durability, and resistance to moisture,
Chosen by the NCAA, USA Volleyball, FIBA, US Soccer Foundation, and Nancy Lieberman Charities’ Dream Courts as their official court surface, the performance cannot be beaten. Sport Court® delivers an unmatched combination of shock absorption, ball response, traction, and playability. For those employees that are looking for a competitive edge, give them the championship-tested surface they deserve. Chosen by companies like Google, eBay, NASA, Pixar, Bishop Ranch, Brocade, and Stephen Curry’s own SC30 x Oakland pop-up shop, Sport Court® has proven itself time and time again.
While a wellness program may seem overwhelming to enact, so are rising healthcare costs. With almost daily reports of employee morale on the decline, 70% of employees disengaged in their work and workplace right now, and 51% of American employees actively looking for job openings, wellness programs are becoming a prerequisite to keeping and hiring top prospects. Wellness programs are vital to any large, modern employer.