Employee benefits are more important than ever in today’s competitive job market to attract and retain top talent amid the Great Resignation. But while employers are aware that they need to offer competitive — and comprehensive — packages, they’re also facing rising healthcare costs and pressure to rein in expenses.
These two intersecting needs raise one critical question: How can employers keep workers engaged long-term with the right benefits package … while not going over budget?
The answer to this question will differ by organization and industry but here’s the good news: The right wellness program can do both, by helping employers engage their workers while reducing overall healthcare-delivery costs and poor health outcomes.
Before organizations add new benefits or pare down existing ones, it’s important to revisit the word “wellness,” and its significance within the broader workforce. While the word itself might conjure images of yoga poses and mountain top retreats, wellness is not just something that’s nice to have — it’s a necessity.
Employers (and employees) need to start equating wellness with wellbeing: something that’s essential to our collective health, happiness and productivity.
For example: We know chronic health conditions such as diabetes can significantly reduce work productivity by increasing absenteeism and raising the likelihood of poor health outcomes. According to a study published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, workers with chronic diseases were 6.34 times more likely to have increased absenteeism than workers with no chronic diseases. So, by finding ways to reduce chronic health conditions among workers, employers are potentially raising their employee wellbeing quotient.
Focusing on chronic health prevention and management could also mean lowering out-of-pocket expenses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five chronic disease risk factors — including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity — cost U.S. employers $36.4 billion per year due to missed work.
Putting prevention first is a win-win strategy for everyone. If organizations can help their workers curb stress, eat healthier and stay motivated to achieve their health and fitness goals, employees will benefit — but so will organizational leadership and other key stakeholders.
As benefits managers evaluate the best wellness offerings that generate a return on investment (ROI), they should consider whether they are:
One example of a solution that hits all these points — access, convenience and actionability — is at-home health screening kits (like Reperio’s), which make it easy for individuals to check cholesterol levels, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other metrics in just 30 minutes.
Reperio addresses access by offering a cost-effective alternative to in-person screenings (that requires no transportation or taking paid or unpaid time off work). In this way, Reperio’s solution is also convenient – which is a big bonus in today’s more scattered, partially remote/hybrid workforce.
And it’s actionable. Reperio’s at-home health screening comes with an accompanying smartphone app that delivers results instantly, alerting individuals to health problems or potential risks (e.g., higher-than-normal blood-glucose levels or elevated blood pressure) and helps them to set goals and measure progress over time — while encouraging engagement.
Incorporating this kind of solution into a benefits package can motivate individuals to adopt healthier habits and keep tabs on their health. But more than that, these types of solutions demonstrate to workers that the organization they show up for also shows up for them and wants them to have wellness within reach.
Learn more about the Reperio kit.