Any employer who thinks they have no stake in the health of their employees should consider this: The CDC reports that more than 75 percent of an employer’s healthcare costs are related to treating preventable diseases caused by unhealthy employee lifestyle choices. The opportunity in this unnerving statistic is that by improving unhealthy behaviors, we can create a market-based path to reform the challenges that ail American health care.
Employers are important to building a culture of wellness for four important reasons.
- Messaging. Since most Minnesotans get their health insurance at work, they also can receive relevant, real-world information about wellness and healthy living from their employers.
- Culture. Worksites often play the cultural role once reserved for neighborhoods. Information, programs or policies instigated at work will find their way through family and friends to reach a wider audience.
- ROI. Most employers won’t deploy worksite wellness programs or policies just because they feel good. Like every other part of their business, employers will hold a keen focus on developing only those activities that achieve and sustain measurable results and ROI.
- Coalitions. Employers are accustomed to developing networks of trusted colleagues, allies and vendors toward common goals of mutual benefit. Wellness is a perfect example. When all employees are healthier, every employer will benefit.