U.S. Chamber Guide Helps Businesses Start Workplace Wellness Programs
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
An attendee at the National Chamber Foundation’s “The Case for Wellness Programs” event on December 2 asks a question on the benefits of workplace wellness programs.
As the U.S. Chamber pushes for health care reform legislation to control spiraling costs, it also providing businesses with practical health care cost containment tips and tools.
The Chamber and the Partnership for Prevention released a new guidebook to help employers plan, implement, and evaluate workplace health promotion programs that lower health costs and boost productivity. Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond was released at a National Chamber Foundation event at Chamber headquarters on December 3 and is available here.
“With all due respect to what’s happening on the Hill, workplace wellness and employee health are things employers can move on independent of Capitol Hill,” said Randy Johnson, Chamber senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits. “Because American businesses are the country’s largest provider of health insur¬ance, they are uniquely situated to provide leadership in finding solutions to address health care costs.”
The 68-page guide outlines current worksite health promotion approaches and tactics that are supported by research findings or considered “promising practices.” The guide contains strategies for wellness programs of every level and for businesses of every size.
Here are some tips on how to start a workplace wellness program:
- Create a planning team of employees who have an interest or expertise in human resource issues(e.g. employee benefits, employee wellness, health, and safety, and employee assistance programs).
- Collect data on health claims, absenteeism, accident reports, short-term and long-term disability claims, employee turnover reports, employee surveys, and needs assessment.
- Benchmark your current employee health and wellness practices to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. Do you have a smoke-free workplace? Do you subsidize gym memberships or have an onsite gym? (The Chamber guide has an assessment worksheet.)
- Recruit and train staff, develop employee communications including promotional materials, health newsletter, online health portal, and selectvendors for screenings and health coaching.
- Make sure senior management is involved in introducing/ communicating the program, distributing program materials to employees at work or at home, and scheduling and coordinating onsite events, such as health screenings, group orientations, health fairs, workshops, and other special events.
Read the full guide at www.uschamber.com/assets/labor/2010hwforce.pdf