6 Ideas to Improve Your Current Corporate Wellness Program

6 ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs Through Improvements in Current Wellness ProgramIn the course of my recent blog postings, I have given advice on ideas on starting a corporate wellness program. This article will discuss six ways to take your company’s current wellness program to the next level.

When executed properly, these 6 steps can positively affect the health and wellness of your employees. Companies should keep investing in their wellness programs in order to reduce health care costs and to keep the program fresh.

1. Start a Senior Level Wellness Program: Companies having delivered health care advantages through their wellness programs for hourly and mid-level employees for any period of time should be aware that these programs can yield positive results. Senior level employees and managers should be immediately added to the program, or to a similar one for a high return on investment.

2. Improve the Strategy: The key to any wellness program is its strategy. The strategy is the document containing all the activities and tricks that enables a wellness program to address its objectives. Discuss with employees in different departments to see what can be improved, where you can make changes, and what else needs to be addressed. Be sure to include in these meetings both people who are actively participating in the program and those that have not yet taken part in it for best results.

3. Link Your Employee Benefit Plan to Participation in Your Health Promotion Plan: A big problem is that people that can most use a wellness program are often the people least likely to participate in them. The result is that the majority of wellness programs of the companies have participation rates of as low as 20%-25%. With the health condition of the average American worker declining, designing health promotions in a way so that they can increase participation in your benefit plan will be practiced in the years to come.

4. Use Telephone Counseling for At-Risk Employees: At-risk employees may need additional counseling, whether by telephone, through early morning or early evening meetings, or reaching them at home or in their car. The key is reaching out to these employees, in order to get the maximum improvement to your wellness program.

5. Make Physical Activity and Nutrition a Significant Part of the Program: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. The keys to changing behavior is a strong emphasis on physical activity and nutrition, which should be an integral part of any wellness programs.

6. Increase the Amount of Money Your Company Invests in Wellness: The majority of employers invest too little in the healthcare of their workers. Employers should spend significantly more than the amount they currently spend, which is under $20 per employee per year. Imagine what you can save by reducing your healthcare costs by 15% per year. Take half of those savings to get an idea of what you should spend on average for your employee wellness program if all goals are met. It will more than pay for itself each year two times over.

While there are many ways of upgrading your wellness program, the six steps mentioned above should be looked at for the next twelve months.

It’s a fact that the health and wellness of employees are of supreme importance to every company. The average age of the workforce is getting older, and obesity rates are rising, which means increased expenditures on healthcare costs. Taking early measures will be the dominating factor in keeping these costs in control and keeping the workforce of the nation healthy and efficient.

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Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.


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Wellness Reminder 13 Month 2011 Calendar

Corporate Wellness 13 Month 2011 CalendarJust what you need to jump start a corporate wellness program for your employees.  This 13-month multiple sheet wellness calendar is filled with full color health and wellness photos.  It measures 10 7/8″ x 18″ opened and 10 7/8″ x 10″ closed with high quality gloss stock. The soothing scenic photos paired with imprinted helpful health and wellness tips on each month create a unique promotional tool for the health conscious employee. The perfect tool to launch your 2011 company wellness program.

You can order this wellness calendar wholesale in as few as 150 pieces and prices start at under $2 each wholesale.

For more information, visit www.wellnessmarketingsolutions.com or click on the picture to the left.

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Koozie Lunch Sack as a Corporate Wellness Incentive Reminder

Lunch Sack to kick off a new Wellness Program

Encourage your employees to bring a nutritious lunch from home with the Koozie-brand lunch sack made of 70 denier nylon.

Ideal for corporate fitness programs, this insulated lunch sack features hook and loop closure, front slip pocket for additional storage. Handle size is 1″ x 15″. Made of Nylon and it comes in a variety of colors. The size of the sack measures 7 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ x 4 3/4″. You can order this lunch bag wholesale in quantities as low as 96 pieces and prices start at under $5 wholesale.

For more information, visit www.wellnessmarketingsolutions.com or click on the picture to the left.

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Laptop Backpack for Corporate Wellness Programs

Laptop mono strap backpack made of poly 300 denier ripstop PU are an ideal wellness gift or reminder. Features large zippered main compartment, adjustable padded shoulder strap with cell phone mesh pocket, side mesh pocket for bottle, inside fully padded laptop sleeve and padded pocket for Ipod or MP3 player. O ring designed for headphone or MP3 outlet, webbed/mesh carrying handle, zippered front pocket accessories. Ideal for a corporate fitness program incentive. It comes in three colors: Black,Red or Royal.
Size: 13.75″ x 19″ x 4.75″

You can order this backpack in quantities as low as 50 pieces and prices start at under $9 wholesale.

For more information visit www.wellnessmarketingsolutions.com or click on the picture.

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Wellness Pedometer/BMI

Wellness Incentives Plus offers dozens of custom imprinted pedometers

Gemstone BMI and body fat pedometer. An all-purpose pedometer with body fat in its sights. Input personal data to determine body fat and body mass index (BMI). Remembers body fat data for up to 5 users. Accurately measures steps, distance traveled and calories burned. Features clock, protective flip cover and decorative metallic finish. Counts up to 99,999 steps. Energy-saving auto shut-off feature. Button cell battery inserted.

This wellness incentive pedometer comes in either black or red and measures 1- 5/8″ x 2- 5/8″ x 1″.

A great wellness reminder you can buy wholesale with your logo imprinted on them for under $7.00 each when you order 50 pieces.

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Simple Weight Loss Incentive Helps Employees Shed Pounds for a Cause

wellnessmarketingsolutions.com helps companies to motivate their employees to lose weightEmployees at one Wisconsin chain are finding that losing weight can feel good in more ways than one.

Workers at Trig’s grocery stores in Wisconsin recently took part in the company’s Biggest Winner contest, WAOW-TV reports. Over the course of a few months, employees were encouraged to lose as much weight as possible. For each pound they lost, Trig’s would donate an equal amount of food to local pantries to feed the hungry. Workers said the program gave them the motivation to shed some pounds.

“There was an incentive, a reason beyond just me that anything I lost was going to get donated to a food pantry and I think sometimes we need that additional incentive to get us started down the right path,” Angie Dreifuerst, a Trig’s employee, told the station.

At one Wausau, Wisconsin store, twelve employees combined to lose 100 pounds. Across the company, the workers lost a combined 800 pounds.  How’s that for an 800 pound gorilla in the room.. (or not in the room anymore!)?

While its employees have lost weight, Trig’s will also benefit from the program. Research from the American Heart Association says that companies can earn a $3 return for every dollar they spend on an effective employee wellness program through reduced healthcare costs.

With a 3 to one ROI payoff, what are you doing to encourage your employees to lose weight today?

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Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.

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Congress Being Urged To Consider Wellness Incentive Legislation

wellnessmarketingsolutions.com offers hundreds of custom branded wellness reminders.Supporters of the Incentive Legislation Campaign (ILC) recently met with Congressional leaders and staffers on Capitol Hill, urging them to back wellness programs through tax benefits to workers and their employers. ILC members believe workplace incentive programs can ultimately be used to improve the health of Americans and reduce escalating medical-care costs. “Incentives have already proved their usefulness in promoting workplace safety and length of employee service,” said George Delta, executive director of the Incentive Federation. “One of the best ways to encourage wellness incentives is to make them nontaxable to employees and deductible to employers.”

Through their continuing lobbying efforts, IFC members are targeting pieces of legislation that have already been introduced in Congress. “As measures are introduced to encourage employment programs and promote savings in health care, the use of incentives could help jump-start efforts aimed at improving the lives of average Americans and bolstering workplace productivity,” said Delta.

As part of their visit, ILC members met with Senator Tom Harkin, as well as advisors to Senators Orrin Hatch and Jeff Bingaman. According to some members in attendance, ILC members will present more data to additional leaders in Congress following the November elections.

Wellness Incentives offer a substantial cost savings and benefits, and it will be money well spent once these programs get implemented. Businesses of all sizes should be encouraged to do what they can to reduce their health care costs, says Robert Piller, President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com.

Write or call your Congressman today to show your support for Wellness Incentive legislation.
—————————————————————————— Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.

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Smaller Business Less Satisfied With Company Benefits, Survey Says

Small business employees are much less satisfied with their benefits than those at larger companies, according to a new report from MetLife. “Building A Better Benefits Program Without Breaking The Budget” points out that while 50% of workers at companies hiring 500 or more say they are very satisfied with their benefits, only 27% of those at companies with 50 to 99 employees said the same, and at organizations with 2 to 49 employees, this was the case just 23% of the time. The report finds that for businesses of all sizes, the top two objectives in offering benefits are controlling health and welfare costs (53%), closely followed by retaining employees (47%).

Jeffrey Tulloch, national sales director of employee benefit sales for MetLife, believes that the study presents a workplace opportunity for small businesses to better appeal to the needs of their workers. “There’s great opportunity for the real small employer to do some things that are pretty easy to implement,,” Tulloch says, “and they should see some satisfaction with their benefits, which leads to increased satisfaction of their employees.”

The report makes five recommendations to employers, the first of which is to offer non-medical benefits like dental, disability and life insurance – 59% of small business employees say these contribute to their employer loyalty – but reduce the cost by covering what employees value (such as preventative services for dental), rather than underutilized procedures that can significantly raise employer premiums. Second, the report recommends starting a wellness program. Currently, only 22% of small companies offer wellness programs (as opposed to 61% of larger employers), even though 67% of small business employers agree that wellness programs are effective at reducing medical costs.

With individual workers more responsible for their own financial well-being than in previous generations, MetLife also recommends employers help their workers get a better handle on their expenses.  The final recommendations are simplifying benefits communication by removing jargon, and helping advance employee work/life balance.

Perhaps a wellness program can help in reducing expenses and spurring greater employee loyalty?

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Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.


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14 Ideas to Help Employees Reach Their Wellness Goals

Proven Ideas to Help Employees Learn Better Health BehaviorsIn the report, “Why and How People Change Health Behaviors”, from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), we find lots of experiences from people who have made successful behavioral changes for reasons of health.

The purpose of the report is to:
1) Motivate people to adopt behavioral change
2) to help those who are at present changing their lifestyle
3) to give hope and support to those whose attempts had failed in the past.

It is important to note that positive behavior has the greatest impact on our health and lives and is the key to any wellness program. Lots of people, who are currently indulging in poor behaviors, want to change, but do not know the method.

The following 14 tips have come out from the individuals for successful change of health behavior.

1. Realize every person has different needs, time constraints and motivations.

2. Know thoroughly about the change that you are about to adopt and what to realistically expect in getting to this goal.

3. Venture with full confidence and preparation.

4. Set realizable goals which will enable you to measure the extent of your success in changing healthy behavior for the betterment.

5. The speed and amount of progress may vary across individuals but there should be the same level of maximum commitment.

6. Take day to day steps for realization of the changes instead of a long term change at one go.

7. Frame in your mind how to tackle some difficult situations which might crop up in future while undergoing the changes.

8. Controlling our environment is the most vital step for making lifestyle changes for health reasons.

9. Big changes cannot be realized overnight. So go for small short steps to achieve maximum success.

10. Support from family members, colleagues, friends, and co-workers are all very essential.

11. Compliments from others are really inspiring and motivating.

12. Even if there is a small lapse, do not let that affect your long term progress. In other words, do not be discouraged by small failures.

13. It is one successful change that paves the way for another.

14. Self acknowledgement of your accomplishments is very important. Present yourself with small rewards at every step of success. That is one of the ways a wellness incentive program can help with positive reinforcement.

These 14 tips are the pillars of successful lifestyle changes that enable people to secure long term health and happiness. A very important tool as your employees continue with their programs is to encourage them to jot down what are things that he learned and what should be his/her next course of action.

A corporate wellness program will have much greater success as al participants understand that the road to success can take time, and expectations are realistic, and setbacks are to be expected.

Here’s to a healthier workplace.
—————————————————————————— Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.

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10 Ideas for Starting a Corporate Wellness Program in a Small Business

10 steps to a successful company wellness programToo many articles focus on implementing a wellness program at major corporations, but very little is written on ideas to help small businesses begin their own wellness program.

To help smaller employers implement successful health promoting activities the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) came up with 10 simple ideas that will help small businesses encourage healthy behaviors among their employees and reduce their healthcare costs.

1. Issue a Letter of Support from the CEO or President: Many companies are not able to communicate to their employees that the idea of wellness is a top concern of the CEO or President. Having the key officer issue a letter stating this fact will make the employees aware of the new wellness plan.

2. Appoint a Wellness Leader of the Company: The wellness leader must be able to navigate through all departments and have the blessing and the support of the CEO or President of the company, in order to have meaningful results.

3. Conduct a Survey of Employees to Learn of Their Health Interests: It is vital to any wellness program to conduct a survey of the employees to learn of their health interests and concerns. By doing so, the company will get to know the specific programs their employees are interested in and design their program around it.

4. Administer a Health Test: This is a great idea of wellness programs that enables the employees of companies to assess and to understand their individual health conditions. It will also to help establish a baseline for improvements.

5. Run a Yearly Physical Activity Campaign: To have healthier employees it is important to keep them on the move. A great idea of any small businesses practicing wellness programs is to keep their employees active is by conducting physical activity campaigns each year.

These campaigns create a sequence of challenges offering incentives to employees who participate in them and on participating in these challenges the number of hours in a day that employees remain active increase. Start small and try to build up to company-sponsored participation in 5K, 10K, marathons and even Ironman competitions to really push your employees. Dress your employees in imprinted t-shirts and make a statement at these races that can be built upon each year.

6. Organize Educational Cooking and Eating Seminars: Another way that small businesses can improve their wellness programs is to improve the eating habits of employees. One way is to conduct cooking and eating seminars that their employees can participate in. A good local chef in the seminar can educate employees on how to prepare healthy food to fit any budget.

7. Establish a Library on the Premises: As good health is founded on sound knowledge, businesses should ensure that their employees have access to a well-stocked library of wellness and fitness books, magazines and other resources, which should be available to all employees on their premises.

8. Distribute a Monthly Health Newsletter: Another effective idea is to produce and distribute a monthly newsletter offering good health tips and covering various health related topics. A local hospital or your insurance company may even be able you to produce these informative newsletters.

9. Implement Policies That Promote Better Health: As policies of companies have a great impact on the health of their employees, it is important to show management’s commitment in providing healthy and safe workplaces by including healthy policies in their standard business procedures.

10. Promote Community Events and Health Fairs: Another great idea of small businesses to encourage healthier behaviors is by promoting community events like heath fairs and educational round tables that are communicated to their employees. Encourage participation and attendance at these events by offering prizes and having family entertainment.

Following these ideas can help jump start the wellness programs of any small business, and lead to a healthier and more productive workforce.

The first step of any new wellness plan is the first step. When will you take it?


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Robert Piller is President of WellnessIncentivesPlus.com, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders. Visit wellnessincentivesplus.com to view thousands of wellness rewards and reminders in all price points.


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