By: Angela Amirkhanian
Maintaining good health is a way of life. As California moves toward implementing the Affordable Care Act, in effect in January 2014, wellness programs that promote healthy living to prevent illness are in the spotlight of the Business Life Magazine’s focus. This focus looks into health contingent wellness programs, as a tool for improving employee health and reducing costs.
This health mandate will offer employers a viable path to a healthier workforce and a healthier bottom line. Not only do wellness programs prevent illness, they also improve the bottom line through reduced absenteeism, health care costs and increased productivity and profits.
Under the health care law, promoting education, awareness and programs that help employees thrive are strongly promoted. Under the health care law, federal grants may also be available to some small businesses to offset the cost of established wellness programs, and insurance must provide wellness services, such as counseling and health screenings, at no extra cost to the employee. Businesses and employees will no longer have to pay co-payment, co-insurance or deductible fees to receive recommended preventive health services such as screenings, vaccinations and counseling.
Companies such as Safeway established a wellness program long ago, encouraging workers to take personal responsibility for their health. “When we survey our employees, we know they are more engaged as a result of the wellness programs that we’ve offered here. We also know they’re happier in their jobs and become more productive employees,” said Larree M. Renda, Executive Vice President for Safeway. By encouraging health screenings, immunizations, and programs to manage weight and quit smoking, Safeway and its workforce have saved on health care costs through reduced absenteeism, reduced claims and fewer doctors’ visits.
We would like to have our readers learn about what benefits, services and education are offered to company employees to encourage a culture of prevention, promote workplace healthy behaviors, improve employee’s health knowledge and skills, help employees get necessary health screenings and follow up care.
Source; Health Law Guide for Business www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org
Huntington Hospital’s Participate Actively Towards Health Program (PATH) strives to improve the health and well-being of their employees through health education and programs that will support positive lifestyle changes, thereby resulting in improved employee health, productivity, retention and healthcare cost savings.
PATH’s employee initiatives include on-site fitness classes, on-site Weight Watcher meetings and gym discounts. Additionally, fulltime and part time employees are eligible for a smoking cessation program, a telephonic lifestyle coaching program for condition management and/or disease management – at no cost.
Biometric results in 2012 showed improvement in all areas over 2011’s results. Areas measured included obesity, overweight, hypertension, high glucose and high cholesterol.
In January, Huntington Hospital was awarded Silver level by in their “Fit Company” award. The award honored leading employers as Employee Wellness Champions. For more information visit: www.huntingtonhospital.com.
Warner Bros. Entertainment
Warner Bro’s values their employees and provides various medical employee benefits programs to support their well being. Their Total Rewards program includes medical, dental, flexible-spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care, disability management, and life insurance offerings. Warner Bros. also provides access to independent doctors, as well retail optical networks. Employees are automatically enrolled in life, accidental death, dismemberment insurance and long-term disability programs.
Warner Bros. invests in services and education to help keep their employees healthy. Each month, they provide information to their employees about health and wellness through screenings, awareness campaigns and seminars. These seminars allow employees to gain valuable information to help address common life stressors. Experts are brought in to educate employees on topics such as aging, parenting, graduate school programs. There are currently five series covering Eldercare, Financial Education, College Admission Preparation, Information Security, and Health and Wellness. Warner Bros. also offers maternity support through access to personal obstetrics nurses.
In efforts to assist employees in leading healthy lifestyles, employees in our Burbank location have access to the Warner Bros. Studios Fitness Center, our 10,000 square-foot, on-site fitness facility. Membership includes use of equipment, an outdoor basketball court and group exercise classes.
Through Warner Bros. free Employee Assistance Program, employees and family members are offered confidential counseling and support. Employees receive help and guidance with legal and financial concerns; weight loss management or child and elder care options. For more information, visit www.wbcitizenship.com
The first of Nestlé’s 10 Corporate Business Principles is about nutrition, health and wellness. It is Nestlé’s core aim to enhance the quality of consumers’ lives every day and everywhere. Nestlé wants its employees to experience the company’s vision as a daily reality. Through the provision of a healthy diet and sporting activities, Nestlé follows the principle of ‘healthy minds in healthy bodies. Knowing that a loyal and productive workforce is the key driver of its success. Nestlé has developed an employee wellness scheme covering 6000 employees. The program has four strands:
1. Improved nutritional standards and information
2. Increased physical activity
3. Mental resilience- providing systems to help prevent and manage mental health and difficulties.
4. Health screening – providing private health assessments and basic health tests for employees.
In 2010, Nestlé’s global leadership position of Health and Wellness Advisor within the company’s corporate safety, health and environmental sustainability function was launched to improve health programs and performance for employees. In addition to providing emergency medical assistance, many sites established health centers where sick or injured workers can receive professional care or advice.
96% of Nestle sites offer disease prevention and health promotion program, providing vaccinations, HIV/AIDS prevention information, and cardiovascular and diabetes tests. Nestle is supported by a network of occupational health professionals, nutritionists and rehabilitation experts, as well as voluntary “site champions” across the globe who provide health and well being training and support to employees. For information visit www.nestlegoodfoodgoodlife.com
Penske Motor Group
Penske Motor Group recognizes that their team members are their greatest resource, and created the “Road to Wellness” Program.
The “Road to Wellness” Program offers a full onsite employee fitness center underneath Longo Lexus that is larger than most dealerships' showrooms and there are plans to expand it. Alyssa DePompa, Longo Lexus health and wellness Coach, teaches individual wellness seminars for Longo's employees. Those who attend the seminars get credits that save money on health-care coverage. Lexus of Stevens Creek Team Members are also able to get in shape and stay healthy through corporate Club-One Fitness discounts.
Penkse Motor Group Team Members have the option of participating in numerous runs, walks, triathlons, marathons & relays throughout the year. Longo’s "Speed Team" took part in the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon. "A lot of team members have lost 30-50 pounds," said Greg Penske, CEO of Penske Motor Group. " A healthier team member has a healthier attitude. It makes a big difference."
The “Road to Wellness” Program also includes free on-site health screening and health risk assessment, health seminars on various topics including; nutrition, fitness, stress reduction, cardiovascular health, developing healthy habits, free flu shots, weekly wellness tips and so on.
Penske Motor Group provides access to quality health care at a reasonable cost, a Guardian Life Dental Plan for employees and their families at no cost, and coverage of eye care services. Employees and their family can also contact a representative from our Employee Assistant Program, available 24/7 to address emotional well-being, health, wellness and daily living concerns. For information on Longo Toyota’s Wellness Wednesdays classes in March (open to public), visit http://www.penskemotorgroup.com/.
Succeed Work Stress
Stress directly affects workers health, productivity, profits, morale, communication, judgment, and safety on the job.
- According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 44% of all employee turnovers are stress related.
- One million American workers miss work each day due to stress-related illness.
- 50% of all people who visit the doctor do so for stress-related problems.
- In 2012, one in three works thought about quitting their job because of stress.
- Four in ten American workers say they feel their job is highly stressful.
- In the past 10 years, American companies have experienced as much as a 30% increase per year in health care claim costs.
Succeed Over Stress-
- Great relationships begin with clean and consistent communication. We teach people how to treat us.
- Try to listen. Make the time to lend an ear to those you love. But don’t try to fix their problems and don’t take their problems personally.
- Don’t hold grudges. Resolve situations when disagreements arise, then move on. Holding on to negative feelings tends to make them multiply and prevents us from moving forward.
- Take time everyday to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your life. Rejoice in life’s simplest moments.
- Slow down, find gratitude in what you have take time to take care of yourself, and breathe.