Why You Need to Make Employee Productivity and Health a Priority

Why You Need to Make Employee Productivity and Health a Priority

Mar 21 2016

When you choose a health plan that makes employees healthy and wealthy, you’ll also reap the benefits.

Towers Watsons’ most recent Staying@Work survey says employers worldwide are thinking holistically, and are making health and productivity a business priority. Are you ready to join their ranks? It’s a stepping stone to success.

Adding tangible and intangible value

Offering an excellent health plan—one that includes emphasis on wellness—is an investment worth making because it:

  • Improves your employee value proposition. In an economy with a tight labor market, savvy employers are improving health benefits to attract the best employees and increase the loyalty of their current workforce.
  • Improves productivity. A health-focused culture can be a tipping point; healthy employees are more likely to come to work. And they’re more prone to being engaged in their jobs, says Towers Watsons’ Global Benefit Attitudes Survey.

With American lifestyles undermining our collective health, your employees need coverage that keeps them healthy and gives them a financial advantage.

Help employees be healthy. You have a handful of employees with an active lifestyle who see wellness programs as a great perk. But you also have employees who miss too much work, feel lethargic and need to improve. The right health plan will:

  • Decrease lifestyle risks. Don’t pigeonhole wellness. It’s not just about fun and games. It’s about health. Obesity and a lack of physical activity are linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma, sleep apnea and more. A health plan that incorporates wellness will motivate employees to get healthier. As a result, it can reduce medical costs (for you and for them) and make them more effective.
  • Control chronic conditions. Not only are sick employees less productive, they also drive up medical costs. Half of all Americans have at least one chronic condition, which make up 86 percent of our nation’s health care costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control. For example, more than a million Michigan residents have diabetes, a condition that’s costing the U.S. $69 billion a year in reduced productivity. Look for a carrier with demonstrated results in helping people get healthier.

Help employees save money. Today’s health plans all include some level of cost-sharing. Ideally, you’ll provide a plan that doesn’t create too much pocketbook pain for your workforce. But even if you choose a high deductible plan, you can reduce employees’ financial impact with a plan that offers cost transparency tools so they can comparison shop for health care. For example, Priority Health’s Cost Estimator shows predicted out-of-pocket costs for hundreds of the most common procedures, based on employees’ health plan and deductible. This lets them plan for their health care expenses and save by choosing a lower-cost facility.

When it’s time to budget for the next fiscal year, be sure to allocate resources for the best health coverage that makes sense for your company. You’ll observe the value of your investment in a myriad of ways.