Wellness focus – Corporate Wellness Programs

cwpMany companies are now looking to improve their bottom line by paying attention to the health of their employees. In the past health benefits were focused on Medical Insurance and HMO programs to assist workers when they experience sickness; unfortunately, every year health benefit costs have continued to rise because sickness management does not produce healthy employees, it actually contributes to sickness and again higher benefit costs. There is a trend to look at improving the health of workers to help prevent sickness, instead of just forcing people to undertake an annual physical and calling that a health benefit.

It is good to see that some companies are realizing the need to change their approach and many are actively looking for Wellness programs. Where can they find these programs? Most wellness programs are just nurses and medical doctors talking about illness prevention. When will society wake up and realize that illness prevention is not the kind of health education that can contribute to the pursuit of wellness?

If we accept the truth that Sickness is not an accident, then we must also accept the truth that Health is not an accident either. Corporate Wellness programs will better deliver real results in greater employee health when the programs focus on the Health side of the equation and not the Disease management side.

Currently there are three types of Corporate Wellness programs:

  1. Seminars by MDs on disease prevention (no real wellness outcomes there)
  2. Addition of a fitness room inside the company building or for nearby club membership (but how many workers are actually using their fitness facilities?)
  3. Health Coaching programs – personalized life or health coaching services

It is easy to understand why companies select option one (1.) because it has little to no cost. The fitness facility option is fine as long as enough people use it and it is preferred because it is mostly a one-time cost. The most effective option is of course the costlier of the three options due to the real manpower time involved by skilled health coaches; but it is by means the superior choice that gets real results, real sickness reversals, real fitness and weight management outcomes and real disease prevention. Oh yea! and real healthier employees.

The best Corporate Wellness programs may have a higher direct cost but in the end saves the company money by lowering the actual medical reimbursement costs; also, not to mention that having a healthy employee will better impact the bottom line than a sicker employee who misses work more frequently to see doctors and spends more sick days at home.

In U.S.A. and other Western countries there are many Corporate Wellness programs that are coaching-based. In Manila, there are a few life coaches that mostly focus on Executives and then there is Natural A+ that offers company wide wellness programs focusing on losing weight and reversing chronic disease by lifestyle coaching. Their C.W.P. is called “Sexy, Healthy and Fit” and typically offer 50 employee packages at reasonable fees.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
docMIKE

 

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