It's Thursday ya'll! Today I want to dig into something that is becoming more common, but still has a long way to go: companies paying for employee wellness.
Quick detour: This weekend brings me down to Providence for the Perform Better Summit, I hope to see some of you down there. I am one of those weird people that goes to all three days. Last year, I saw two colleagues make their speaking debut, and I’m looking forward to more great talks this year.
Okay back to the matter at hand. Let me start by saying, I am not an expert in health insurance, especially when it comes to group benefit costs. However, I do know it costs less to insure healthy employees. Bear with me as I explain why companies should invest in their employees’ wellness instead of just their healthcare.
What we're looking at here is a preemptive strike against avoidable medical costs for people (employees). Let me say it again, investing in employee’s wellness, in my opinion, will prevent medical costs down the road. If you start incurring medical costs at the ripe young age of 40, you have just become the drug companies’ favorite customer, and a costly employee to insure. Have you ever seen the ‘retail’ costs for medical services – yikes.
Some insurance companies do reimburse a percentage of a gym membership, but those companies are the exception, not the rule. Even more rare are the insurance companies that reimburse members for "nontraditional” fitness facilities, such as Crossfit boxes or training studios, like the one I operate out of.
More companies and health insurance providers should follow this lead and provide nontraditional wellness benefits, like personal training (FROM THIS GUY) or the ability to work with a nutrition coach. It's beneficial for companies to have these types of programs, because it not only shows you have a heart, but I bet you’ll see increased productivity. And we all know increased productivity keeps the bosses happy.
We didn’t get into the specific medical benefits today, but trust me there are numerous studies showing healthy people cost less to insure. Hey, wait a minute, less overhead and increased productivity? This is starting to make sense.
Don't just take my word for it, type in "exercise and work performance" or "exercise and productivity" into your search engine. Go ahead I'll wait *taps foot and glances at drawn on watch pretending to wait*. Do you see all of those articles that are popping up, even if you're not a fan of the scholarly articles, there's some respectable periodicals on that list.
To summarize: investing in employees and member through a wellness program is a win win.
Hope everyone enjoyed, have a good weekend, look out for Thing I've Found tomorrow and go out there and get after it!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS