Raffa Services
Raffa Services
Raffa Services

Professional Services employee benefit plans

The numbers don’t lie:

  • More than 70% of claims are lifestyle related.
  • Indirect costs of poor employee health are 2 to 3 times greater than direct medical costs.
  • More than 97% of current wellness programs are ineffective. 

Best Practices When Developing a Wellness Program

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), an organization dedicated to the promotion of worksite wellness, has identified seven best practices (“The Seven Benchmarks”) for employers to follow when building a comprehensive, effective worksite wellness program within their organization.
  • ​Capture senior-level support. A commitment from the top is critical to the success of any wellness initiative. Management must understand the benefits of the program for both the employees and the organization, and be willing to commit sufficient funding. Link health promotion to business goals, values and strategic priorities, and emphasize improved employee productivity and health care cost savings. 
  • Create a wellness team. Wellness teams should include a cross-section of people from all levels of your company to ensure broad ownership of the program, help garner buy-in from the rest of the company and make sure the program is responsive to the needs of all participants. These individuals will drive program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Collect data that will drive your health initiatives. Once your team is in place and management is on board, it is time to gather baseline data to help assess employee health interests and risks, which will guide you in crafting your program. This process may involve a survey of employee interest in various health initiatives, health risk assessments (HRAs) and claims analysis to determine current employee disease risk.
  • Craft an annual operating plan. An annual operating plan is important for your program’s success and should include a mission statement along with specific, measurable short- and long-term goals and objectives. Your program is also more likely to succeed if it is linked to one or more of the company’s strategic initiatives, as it will have a better chance of maintaining management support. A written plan also provides continuity when members of the wellness committee change and is instrumental in holding the team accountable to the goals, objectives and timeline agreed upon.
  • Choose appropriate health initiatives. The health initiatives that you choose should flow naturally from your data (survey, HRA aggregate report, claims) and be cohesive with your goals and objectives. They should address prevailing risk factors in your employee population and be in line with what both management and employees want from the wellness program.
  • Create a supportive environment. A supportive environment provides employees with encouragement, opportunity and rewards. A culture of health might have such features as healthy food choices in the vending machines, a no-smoking policy and flexible work schedules that allow workers to exercise. Also, your workplace should celebrate and reward health achievements and have a management team that models healthy behavior. Most importantly, be sure to involve employees in every aspect of the wellness program from its design and promotion to its implementation and evaluation.
  • Consistently evaluate your outcomes. Evaluation involves taking a close look at your goals and objectives to determine whether you achieved your desired result. Evaluation allows you to celebrate goals that have been achieved and to discontinue or change ineffective initiatives. 
Improving and enhancing your employees’ lives will not only decrease health care costs, but it will have an even larger impact on productivity and the profitability of your company.  We will deliver the resources your company needs to effectively create and manage a comprehensive wellness program.

As you prepare to review your benefits strategy, please take the opportunity to consult with the leader. Email us or call 240.403.2540.
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