Question details

In recent years, an increasing movement towards employee
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Introduction

In recent years, an increasing movement towards employee health and wellness programs has been moved into the spotlight.  Health has really become an overwhelming issue and not just in the United States. These Programs have been created for various reasons. According to an article by J. James, “typical features of wellness programs are health-risk assessments and screenings for high blood pressure, tobacco cessation, and weight management, encouraging exercise and health club memberships” (James, 2013, para. 7).  Employers are creating and implementing these programs with added incentives to help entice employees into participation. Organizations, companies, and employees in general might ask well, what is a Health and Wellness program?  How does a program like the wellness program get put into motion and how is it beneficial for employers as well as employees? The purpose of this study is to investigate companies that are using these health and wellness plans, what an actual workplace wellness program is and source and methods used to create such a beneficial program.  This Proposal will not be going into much detail on specifics number figures, but research has actually shown that company wellness plans cut firms’ healthcare cost.

Theories Discussed

 Program Incentives

The program being implemented needs to fit the needs of the people in order to better serve the needs of the organization. Companies are using wellness programs as a tool to attract candidates to the job.  Employers believe implementing these programs will create a great benefit not only to the individual but to the overall organization for a variety of reason detailed below. Employees are looking for companies that offer the most benefits, even if the pay may not be the best.  Since not every company can offer a wellness program this helps the organization capture the attention of qualified candidates and persuade them to apply.  An organization is ever evolving to support its daily needs and functions to sustain the business as well as the employees that make up the workforce. Health and wellness programs are quite popular in various professional facilities. Health and wellness in the workplace. Employers also choose to implement wellness programs into their organizations for various reasons. Wellness programs minimize healthcare costs and distribute a feeling of concern toward the employees from the employer. Many wellness programs include health education and coaching, weight management programs, medical screenings and on-site fitness facilities. Fitness facilities would be available for a period of time before and after work hours along with lunch hours. Many facilities choose to offer cash incentives for participation.

Workplace wellness program

What is a workplace wellness program? Lastowka (2011) says, "Workplace wellness is any program that aims to improve the health of your employees and their families while reducing your health-related costs as an employer" (para. 2). Wellness programs increase productivity, fewer employees’ absences, and a decrease in long-term healthcare costs (Lastowka, 2011, para. bn1). Many organizations lack the resources to implement a complete health and wellness program for their employees. According to Lastowka (2011), even without ample resources, organizations can still demonstrate feelings of concern about their employees' health with eight simple suggestions: 1. "Promote preventive care; 2. Encourage exercise; 3. Emphasize education;   4. Bring the doctor in; 5. Invest in incentives; 6. Hone hunger options; 7. Be mindful of mental health; and 8. Recommend behavioral resources" (para. 5-12). A health and wellness program in the workplace benefits everyone. In the business world, many employees suffer from chronic diseases, such as depression and hypertension. Chronic diseases and other illnesses "lead to a decline in the overall health of employees in a workplace, contribute to an increase in health-related expenses for employers and employees, and lead to lower productivity and/or days of work missed" (CDC, 2015, para. 1). Obesity and cigarette smoking are also very common in the workplace. Organizations understand the benefits of health promotion in the workplace.     

Healthcare Information

Healthcare treatment for an obese patient remains higher than a non-obese patient. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004),  "claims in one years' time that the out-of-pocket medical expense for an obese person is $585 as opposed to $333 for a non-obese person; and the annual prescription cost is also higher for an obese person at $360 as opposed to $160 for a non-obese person" (para. 3). This figures cause’s exercise and weight loss programs to remain popular and beneficial in the workplace.

In the United States, obesity leads as the top preventable killer with cigarette smoking following in second. According to Brolin (2002), "anyone exceeding their ideal bodyweight by 20% or a body mass index of 30 or more is categorized as obese; and that 30% of Americans are considered clinically obese" (p. 288). Dr. Brolin's research also determined that obesity medical treatment costs an estimate of $51.6 billion a year. Smoking cigarettes and cigars puts you in a "higher risk of illness and death from heart attack, stroke, and various other diseases such as lung, mouth and throat cancers" (Rajan-George, 2006, para. This data was collected after this program had been in effect. The American Psychologically Association investigates companies catching knowledge towards new employees and how prospective employees react to wellness programs.

Data Analysis

Scope of this study:

This study investigates.

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of health and wellness at Workplaces.
  2. objectives
  3. Goals.
  4. Planning and evaluation
  5. stake holders roles
  6. track program data

Analysis, wellness program and the effect of the program implementation on both company and workers.

 

`                           Figure 1.

 

Chart showing operating plan elements of employee health and wellness percentages. Colors from top to bottom, blue vision statement, orange employee’s goals, yellow employee’s objective, green employee’s timeline, purple employer’s budget, light blue employer’s communication plan, dark green employees implementation plan.

Sources and methods

An organization's wellness program requires goals and objectives. According to Wellness Proposals (2013), "Wellness program goals and objectives are statements of broad, long-term accomplishments expected from the worksite wellness program and are an important part of designing a wellness program. Each goal has one or more objectives established to ensure that the goal will be successfully accomplished. Ideally, objectives should be clear, time-limited and stated in such a way that it is easy to determine whether or not they have been achieved" (para. 3). A successful wellness program in the workplace requires various steps. Some organizations hire a specialized wellness team to devise the perfect program for them; however, many organizations research popular wellness programs. They decide the appropriate program for their establishment.
Stakeholders Involvement with Programs

The stakeholders involved in the implementation of a new wellness program include the supervisors, employees and wellness team for the organization. An organization usually hires a wellness team depending upon the size of the organization and experience among supervisors.

APA

The American Psychologically Association research promotes that the wellness program has helped. The advantages of integrating lifestyle modification has helped with, injury control, and environmental enhancement strategies of health promotion. The author offers a social ecological analysis of health promotive environments, emphasizing the transactions between individual or collective behavior and the health resources and constraints that exist in specific environmental settings.  Studies and research for the future, American Psychologically Association will continue to promote and maintain a healthy choice. Chart below shows  the percentage between organizations. APA winners are in yellow, their organizations that have won the Development,Work-life Balance and Wellness. In blue is the rest of the U.S who have participated and are not enrolled.  

Figure 2.

 Figure two is an evaluation of different companies, businesses, employers and employees was gathered and used I n the study. Different businesses are visited to acquire concrete suggestions from different employees and managers in order to make quite good ideas. Survey was made on different companies’ participation in health and wellness program and their views in the program.

Possible Concerns and Disadvantages

The Possible Concerns and Disadvantages are the most debatable topics, critics also have shared concerns over implementation of a health and wellness program that may be targeting unhealthy or overweight employees.  “Patient advocate groups have complained that such programs could allow companies to penalize workers who have illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease” (Somashekhar, 2013, para. 3).  The concerns expressed involve possible discrimination and targeting of these employees to participate in the program.  “Employers are at risk of creating wellness system that is used not to improve health, but to discriminate against those with obesity in order to improve their bottom line” (“Study Raises Questions About Goals and Effectiveness of Corporate Wellness Programs,” 2013). 

Companies have to ensure these programs are not just targeting a specific group within the company and they should focus and encourage the entire population to focus on a healthier lifestyle.  “A wellness plan that sets weight goals for employees is paired with a health plan that denies coverage for evidence-based obesity treatments. By doing this, an employer risks alienating more than a third of its employees. Stakeholders became more involved after seeing many organizations succeed from the wellness program.

 

 

 

Track Program/ Regulations

Track program data According to Management Help (n.d.), "Be sure employees have a chance to carefully review and discuss the report. Translate recommendations to action plans, including who is going to do what about the program and by when" (para. 38). Supervisors may advise employees to track their program data. Supervisors provide log books for employees to monitor their daily food consumption and physical activity.

This graph summarizes the top 30 health and wellness growth program markets in the world (2011-2012).

Figure 3.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Programs

An evaluation may also include additional data, such as "description of the organization and the program under evaluation; explanation of the evaluation goals, methods, and analysis procedures; listing of conclusions and recommendations; and any relevant attachments, e.g., inclusion of evaluation questionnaires, interview guides, etc." (Management Help, n.d., para. 3). 

By following the regulations put in place, “the wellness programs are designed to actually promote wellness and not just used as a back-door way to shift heath care costs” (Somashekar, 2013, para. 5).  The article by J. James highlights the Affordable Care Act which breaks down two types or wellness programs which can be put in place. The first type includes participatory wellness programs that include gym memberships and tobacco cessation assistance, without the employee actually having to meet a goal.

 The second is a health-contingent wellness program in which the employee has to meet a goal in order to receive an award. (James, 2013) “Rewards may be in the form of premium discounts or rebates, lower cost-sharing requirements, the absence of a surcharge or extra benefits” (James, 2013, para. 19).  Designing a program that can benefit every employee is key and organizations should strive for this so that no one feels they are unable to participate or take advantage of the benefits.

 Concluded for Recommendation

Overall, my recommendation is to have these types of programs implemented. After Numerous articles, published material and data Analysis these programs prove to be effective and beneficial.  Organizations like A Healthier Assurant or AHA has recently with the company earned a Gold Award from the National Business group on Health. Then Organizations like “The American Heart Association has named it a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite, joining an elite group of companies recognized for their focus on providing a healthy workplace” and also awarded was Health Plan Services , who were name to be a  Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by American Heart Association”, 2014). The Health and Wellness program have been reviewed and rated on a high scale by these well-known Associations for their performance and achievements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………….……….2

Theories Discussed…………………………………………………………………………..2.1

Incentives...……………………………………………………………………….…..……..2.2

Work Wellness plan…………..……………………………………………………………..3

Health Information…………………..……………………………………….……………..4

Data Analysis/ …………………………………………………………………..………….5

Chart Figure #1.….…..………………………………………………………………….….5.1

Sources and Methods………………………………………………………………………6

Stakeholders ……………………………………………………………………………..…7

Chart Figure #2…………………………………………………………………………………………..7.1

Possible Concerns and Disadvantages…………………………………………………………8

Track Programs/ Regulations……………………………………………………....................9

Chart Figure 3 …………………………………………………………….…………………..9.1

Growth Market

Health and Wellness Programs………………………………………………………………...9

Conclude for Recommendation………………………………………………………………11

Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………12

References…………………………………….…………………………………………13

 

 

 

References

 

Brolin, R. (2002). Bariatric surgery and long-term control of morbid obesity. The Journal of the    American Medical Association, 288. Retrieved from http://jama.ama-     assn.org/cgi/content.

CDC. (2015). Wellness at work. Retrieved from        www.cdc.gov/features/WorkingWellness/index.html

Hall, D. (2006). Help in stopping smoking. Retrieved from Vanderbilt Faculty & Staff Wellness   Program Web site: www.vanderbiltowc.wellsource.com/dh/content.asp?ID=553#Facts.

Journal of the American Medical Association. (2004). "Obese Patients Have Higher Health           Care Costs than Nonobese Patients." Science Daily. Science Daily, 4 November 2004.             www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030153230.htm>

Lastowka, L. (2011). 8 ways to promote wellness in the workplace. Retrieved from

            www.inc.com/guides/2011/01/8-ways-to-promote-wellness-in-the-workplace.html

Rajan-George, B. (2006, Feb 17). Quit smoking now for business success. The Central New           York Business Journal. Retrieved from www.web10.epnet.com/externalframe.asp.

TCW. (2015). Reduce health care costs and improve productivity. Retrieved from

            www.totalcarewellness.com/tcw-general-wellness-ad?leadsource=Web%20Paid

Wellness Proposals. (2013). Designing a wellness program. Retrieved from             www.wellnessproposals.com/guide-to-worksite-wellness-programs/designing-a-wellness-  program/

James, J. (2013, May 16). Workplace Wellness Programs. Health Affairs. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=93

Somashekhar, S. (2013, May 30). Rules prevent wellness program discrimination. The Washington Post Retrieved from

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