Employee Wellness Solution

January 16

employee wellness solution

 

All employers agree that having healthy employees will lead to better productivity, less absence and disability, lower benefit costs and happier employees – ultimately a better bottom line!

Building a culture of health and wellness.

I have spoken in the past in regard to the concept of wellness and health promotion.  You and I may have already discussed my personal feelings about preventing illness and disease vs. simply watching claims increase through your benefits plan.

All employers agree that having healthy employees will lead to better productivity, less absence and disability, lower benefit costs and happier employees – ultimately a better bottom line!

With some basic facts you will quickly see that there is a solid business case for making an investment in wellness.  There is much evidence documenting the costs to business of having employees who exhibit unhealthy lifestyles

It’s time to consider how wellness might become a part of your everyday work culture.  Let’s talk about why employees change their behavior towards a “healthy lifestyle”.

First, many individuals go through their early working years without seeing the repercussions of poor lifestyle.  It’s easy to coast through your 20’s and 30’s perhaps without recognizing any physical or emotional effects.  Our youth and resilience seem to hold out until we get the wake up call.  Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia, and a whole gamete of stress related outcomes – can all of a sudden just appear.  Some people say that age 40 is that big milestone where everything starts to fall apart.  Have you ever met someone that all of sudden started running in the morning and eating fruit at their desk?  There is a good chance that a health issue has caught up to them and this was the trigger or fear factor to change their behavior.

Second, if we don’t get the wakeup call of a particular diagnosis, perhaps we start to recognize how others around us are now looking after themselves.  Somehow, we start to take on the habits of better eating, regular exercise, more sleep, less alcohol or caffeine, and an overall balance to our work and home life.  Again, some of us just find out through others that this is a better way to manage life and we just have that much more energy by paying attention to our personal wellbeing.

We spend more than half of our waking hours at work and eat more than half of our meals there.  It goes to show you that our work environment very often shapes the way we behave there and at home.  I think it is very possible that what we are exposed to at work – good or bad – will influence our lifestyle in a huge way!

So, if the workplace is that much of an influence on our lives, let’s consider how we might encourage the spread of healthy living through our work environment.

Perhaps, one way we can encourage wellness and health promotion, is by simply setting a good example.  Have you ever noticed that employees aspire to behave and act like the people they respect the most in their workplace?  It could be the President who is running marathons, the supervisor who is learning how to eat properly and working with a nutritionist.  We see how these individuals act around the office – they exude energy and obviously that result can be addictive and contagious.

Thorpe Benefits is building a wellness solution that we think will instigate this type of viral effect.  The outcome is that more and more employees want to follow what they see from other employees and the behavior for healthy living just becomes a part of your work culture – where unhealthy behaviors almost become unacceptable.

Here’s a small but powerful example.  Smoking is not accepted in work environments anymore.  Somewhere along the way we all agreed that smoking was unacceptable.  Eventually, the laws were changed where we will not accept a person smoking anywhere near us.  I wonder what other unhealthy vices will next become unacceptable and perhaps even illegal?  Could it be your exposure to trans-fats, sugar or even salt?!  Will that box of office donuts or vending machine full of pop be next?

Stay tuned and you will hear more from Thorpe Benefits on how we intend to deliver an affordable wellness solution to you and your employees.

Thanks for watching.

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