Are workplace wellness programs even worth it?
I think it’s safe to say that most employers are in agreement that it would be awesome to have healthier employees. The bottom line reasons are that employees would be present at work more often, able to work harder and cost you less in health premiums. And, if you have a soul, there is also the added attraction that people’s quality of life is better when they are healthier. Armed with great intentions, many companies decide to launch a campaign to get their employees healthier. If they try to do it on their own, they likely run into these obstacles:
· How are you supposed to get people healthier?
· How come nobody’s signing up?
So, deciding it’s their fault for not knowing what to do, companies consult professionals. Sometimes their medical broker, sometimes their insurance company, only to be told:
· The only thing you can measure is Health Risk Assessments and Biometric data (that you aren’t allowed to have access to)
· The only way people will participate is if you have a huge cash reward (or reduced premiums)
· If you do that, you are subject to a million HIPAA restrictions
· And nobody still signs up
It’s truly enough to make you give up, and many do. But is it really so impossible to get your employees more healthy?
Bootcamp at work, and other wellness programs have been a passion for us for five years. We have a dream of working directly with companies to provide an awesome fitness environment that will get employees more healthy, make work more fun, reduce stress and provide a lot of other benefits both tangible and intangible. We are so excited about this that I honestly thought the only barrier to entry would be letting people know we’re here and offering it and then the next biggest challenge would be finding enough staff to help all the employers who wanted to work with us.
We actually interviewed 6 local medical insurance brokers and to a one we were told that wellness programs are so watered down and ineffective that there is zero interest by carriers or employers in tackling this.
We know that’s not true across the board. We just completed a six month program with Power Plus in Southern California where they invested a great deal of money in prizes and events to get their employees healthy. Steve Bray, the owner of the company, is a lifelong fitness enthusiast and lives out his belief that fitness is important. There are companies out there that want to incorporate health and wellness into their culture and just don’t know how to do it.
We have figured out a lot of ways to make this easy and fun. We’re not just trainers, we’re coaches and management professionals who know how to get employees engaged and how to make the administration of a project easy. Wellness IS something your employees want and deserve and it’s not out of your reach.
There are so many ways to bring fitness to your employees and to get them participating and you don’t need to redesign your medical plan or run afoul of HIPAA regulations to do something fun, engaging and effective. You really have nothing to lose except a ton of weight, lethargy and chronic health conditions…