Employee Health Starts with Employers - Saxum

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Employee Health Starts with Employers

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From wearable fitness trackers to smartphone apps, people are paying more attention to the benefits of wellness and craving resources to live a healthier lifestyle.

A recent study by HealthMine revealed 75 percent of employees surveyed said their employer or health plan sponsor should offer a program to help them improve and manage their health. While there is no shortage of health information for employers to share, the following tips provide a strategic approach for a more effective delivery:

  • Provide actionable resources, not information overload. Employees want their employer to play a larger role in providing preventative health information, with 80 percent seeking easy access to clinical information and medical studies. Be thoughtful about what you share; consider what’s relevant for the age and lifestyle of your employees and include ways to put the information into action.
  • Audit and repurpose existing resources. Health plan providers are huge aggregators of timely health care information. Save time by asking what they have available and repurpose it for internal distribution. Do you host on-site blood drives or bring in mobile clinics for physicals? These vendors can also provide brochures or information that can be customized and distributed as resources for your employees.
  • Share wellness content that’s concise and visual. When surveyed, 80 percent of employees said it’s important to have concise summaries and simple visual graphics when accessing health information. Don’t bombard your staff by forwarding every health care study or article with wellness tips. Instead, craft a health-related narrative and incorporate it into existing internal communication channels, including e-newsletters, intranet links and videos, or as content in employee publications. Recap the main points and include as many visual storytelling elements as possible to simplify information.
  • Reward healthy behaviors. Many employees want to be incentivized with rewards that encourage them to reach health goals. There are a variety of ways to structure health incentives, but it’s important to communicate incentives through multiple internal channels and on an ongoing basis to reach new hires, as well as remind long-term employees of the rewards.

Improving employee health and wellness can benefit the individual as well as the company. When employers take the lead in providing resources and incentives to promote a healthy workforce, it shows they care about the total wellbeing of employees and is an effective way to reinforce corporate values and culture.

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