Business and Management INK

Workplace Wellness

February 4, 2011 735

Innovations in Workplace Wellness: Six New Tools to Enhance Programs and Maximize Employee Health and Productivity”, by George Thomas DeVries III of American Specialty Health, Inc. San Diego, California, was the most frequently read article in Compensation and Benefits Review in 2010. George has provided additional background to the article:

Skyrocketing health care costs are one of the most crucial issues facing businesses today. And with a largely sedentary and/or Baby Boomer-based workforce, it has never been more important for Human Resources and benefit managers to focus on prevention and wellness.

I wrote “Innovations in Workplace Wellness: Six New Tools to Enhance Programs and Maximize Employee Health and Productivity” on the eve of health care reform legislation, and I think business leaders in 2010 were—and still are perhaps—desperate to learn more about programs that can rein in those lost costs associated with sick or chronically ill workers. The article helps to summarize the kinds of health improvement services and trends (wireless activity trackers, more effective incentives, health coaching, and more)  that are currently out there to help businesses reach their goals by improving the health of their employees. And the  positive ROI these programs provide certainly doesn’t lie.

Our work at American Specialty Health forces us to examine the current business climate and the ways in which health improvement programs can fit into it in order to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and improve our country’s leadership on a global scale. But how will we maintain this position if we can’t control our health care costs, our productivity, our sick days? Better health shouldn’t just be an internal company goal—it is critical on a national scale. I think this idea is resonating with industry leaders more every day, and this, perhaps, is part of the reason for the article’s popularity.

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