San Diego Business Journal

Employee Health: It’s not Personal, It’s Business

ADVERTORIAL: Strategies For Wellness Supplement Monday, September 24, 2012
By Ian Chuang, M.D., M.S., F.C.F.P. Senior Vice President,  Medical Director Lockton Benefit Group

By Ian Chuang, M.D., M.S., F.C.F.P. Senior Vice President, Medical Director Lockton Benefit Group

facing your employees.

•Understand your health care cost drivers.

•Establish a benchmark against which you can measure progress.

Aim For a Small But Meaningful Target

Once you understand the health of your employees, you can develop a highly targeted wellness program, offering only those features you know will have an impact. After all, it’s not about getting large numbers of employees who participate. It’s about getting the right ones to participate and to make changes.

For example, let’s say your organization has a handful of employees with multiple risk factors. If those employees agree to work with a health coach and make the necessary changes to reduce their risks, the number of those engaged employees itself may look less than impressive but the impact to your bottom line will be significant.

Lead by Example

In a small company, the actions of leadership team members tend to be highly visible. Their participation in healthy activities can have a dramatic impact on employees’ acceptance of a new culture of wellness. For example:

•The CEO participates in one-on-one meetings while walking on a nearby trail.

•Company leadership team pledges to pay a fine if observed using the elevator instead of the stairs.

•Executives participate in activities, such as charity runs and walks, lunchtime pick-up basketball games and more.

Reallocate Resources

If designed appropriately, an effective wellness program doesn’t necessarily require a large budget. A health risk management consultant can help you review your current expenditures and find ways to reallocate funds to wellness activities related to your employees’ identified health risks. It’s not about spending more; it’s about spending wisely. Over time, your investment in a culture of wellness should begin to pay off with smaller expenditures on claims.

Small Company, Big Impact

Although resources, both in terms of staff and budgets, tend to be more limited in small and medium companies, the potential impact of a wellness program is significant – especially when a program is

carefully designed with identified health risks in mind. With a visibly committed leadership team, employees are likely to become engaged and measurable results will follow.

Submitted by Lockton Companies

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