How can more small businesses implement workplace wellness programs?
Employee Benefits News reports that United Benefits Advisors’ CEO Les McPhearson indicates the challenges small business operators need to overcome to introduce and implement well-run wellness programs, including the “complexity of the healthcare and insurance marketplace, as well as challenges associated with deploying, communicating and operating wellness programs.”
The post continues: “Larger employers have the wherewithal to use workshops and seminars to reach dispersed employee populations much more extensively and efficiently, he says. These tools are followed closely by wellness coaching that’s provided either over the telephone or in person. He also notes that smaller employers are ‘more likely to provide programs that include financial contributions, gift cards or discounted health club memberships, which tend to be easier to administer.’”
The findings are part of United Benefit Advisors’ recent report, “2016 Trends: How Employers Use Wellness Programs.”
In the report, Heather Mills, CWWPM, Wellness Program Manager at VolkBell, a UBA Partner Firm states: “When designed correctly and communicated properly, wellness programs can meet important objectives and lead to true culture change, not just education and fun.”
The report notes: “Most industry experts agree that employee education is the most critical component to making a wellness program successful. However, UBA finds it starts with properly educating employers about their options, their responsibilities, and opportunities available to them. For example, many employers are unaware there are wellness options available within their current benefits package.”
The report continues: “In addition to having a strong and healthy workforce, there is a clear boost to the bottom line when it comes to health care costs, which accounts for 20 percent of an employer’s operating costs.”
So what can small businesses do? EBN notes: “With benefits increasing in importance with employees, [McPhearson] describes wellness as part of that value proposition. Brokers can take this connection a step further by using these programs to help build a better employment brand and make companies a great place to work for top talent, McPhearson explains.”