Posted By: Envision2bWell, Inc
Employers are dealing with a lot these days. 2020 was a roller coaster of a year that forced companies into a whirlwind of change with barely a moment’s notice. Now, as we begin to embark on this new normal, organizations are having to rethink everything - from their policies about remote work, to how to keep up with the new and ever-changing safety guidelines, to the hidden biases in their company culture and practices, brought to light over the past year.
It’s easy to see why employee wellness is sometimes put on the back burner. This is a mistake, however, because of its enormous impact on organizations. While companies may not yet be feeling the full weight of the problem of UNWELLNESS that has been compounded by COVID-19, they most certainly will in the coming years. Forward thinking organizations will put plans and solutions in motion now to alleviate the economic impact of an unwell workforce.
Unwellness is an enormous financial burden on everyone – our country, our households, our businesses. It also causes a great amount of stress, which then leads to more chronic disease and unwellness. Even before the pandemic, the cost of unwellness and disengagement at work was greater than 1 trillion and the number keeps growing.
According the CDC, 6 in 10 adults have at least one chronic disease, while 4 in 10 have two. Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and the leading driver of the 3.8 trillion in annual healthcare costs. And yet, most chronic diseases are preventable. They are caused by common unhealthy behaviors such as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol use.
During 2020, the “COVID-15” became a thing because many people were stressed and over-eating. Alcohol consumption rose significantly during the pandemic and is still an issue for some today as they struggle to get rid of what has now become a bad habit. And, while there are people that increased their physical activity during the pandemic, many are leading very sedentary lives. On top of all of this, a vast majority of Americans avoided preventive care because they were afraid to go to the doctor for fear of catching COVID.
What does all this add up to? More chronic disease, more stress, more UNWELLNESS.
Chronic disease, stress and mental health issues are on the rise, and they all impact productivity and engagement. Even if an organization isn’t seeing an uptick in absenteeism, they most certainly see a rise in presenteeism. Presenteeism is when an employee is present, but not really there. They are disengaged, unfocused, and unproductive.
The bottom line: A sick, tired, and stressed workforce is not equipped to create or sustain a thriving, healthy business.
Chronic disease, stress and mental health issues also contribute to rising healthcare costs, which are already significant for most employers. As the health issues that have been compounded by the pandemic continue to play out over the next few years, organizations will feel the full weight of the cost of an unwell workforce.
The burning question then is, “What should employers do to improve the health of their employees?”
Employee wellness programs have been around for a while, but they have traditionally consisted of cookie cutter solutions such as yearly wellness fairs, lunch-and-learns that focus on the health “theme of the month” (such as heart disease in February or skin cancer in May), company-wide step/walk challenges, or a list of wellness resources. None of these will cut it in today’s world. The problem is too large, and these solutions don’t make enough of a dent.
Here is what to look for in employee wellness programs for today’s post-pandemic world:
- A solution that is digital and mobile so that it is accessible.
- A solution that can be customized to fit the needs of your organization and workforce.
- A solution that is personalized to help each and every employee on their individual, unique journey to wellbeing.
- A solution that is wrap-around and wholistic, focused on all aspects of health and well-being.
- A solution that is connected and integrated so that the user experience is friendly and easy.
- A solution that is focused on engagement with the high-level data your company needs to continually increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
Envision2bWell is here to help! Our platform and solution, EnvisionWell®, is mobile, integrated, and connected, with a focus on 360° Well-Being®. A one-stop resource for your employees, we make wellness easy. EnvisionWell® is customizable to fit the needs of every organization, and users can personalize it for their own journey to Be 360° Well®!
With our proprietary KSAA® Engagement Model (Knowledge, Support, Access and Autonomy) and our dedicated Engagement Team, employers are set up to empower their employees to sustainable health and well-being. We also offer a proprietary KSAA® Assessment to help employers understand the social determinants of health affecting their employees’ well-being so that they can be even more effective and targeted with their wellness programs and engagement.
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