The Well-Being Journal

Need to Kick It Up a Notch with Your Wellness Program?

Sandy Cummings

Our friends over at Gallup have compiled some intriguing research, as always, about why corporate wellness programs often fall short of their goals -- plus what employers can do to turn things around. Check out this infographic:

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Discouraging data, given that programs designed to improve employee well-being have been shown to lower healthcare costs and improve employee productivity.

What steps can employers take to improve participation? Gallup researchers highlight the key role of managers in building awareness and trust, encouraging their teams to take part, and creating accountability for results. They also point out that programs that take well-being improvement beyond just the physical element -- in other words, that also work to elevate social, financial, community and purpose well-being -- have greater impact:

When comparing adults who are thriving in just Physical Well-Being with those thriving in all five elements, those in the latter group:

  • report 41% fewer unhealthy days
  • are more than twice as likely to say they always adapt well to change
  • are 36% more likely to say they always fully bounce back after an illness
  • are 23% more likely to donate money
  • are 43% more likely to have volunteered
  • are 65% less likely to be involved in a workplace accident
  • are 81% less likely to look for a new job when the job market improves

Read the full article here.

Topics: Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Engagement Business Performance Well-Being Index Competitive Advantage Motivation Productivity Healthways Wellness Trends Gallup Leadership

What You Need to Know About Trans Fats

James Kanka

Dr. Dean Ornish succinctly sums it up in a quote printed in both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today:

"Trans fats increase the shelf life of foods but decrease the shelf life of humans."

Last Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that trans fats are unsafe in food. Trans fats, originally engineered as a "healthier alternative" to saturated fats, by using oils, have since been universally acknowledged as bad for you — contributing to as many as 20,000 heart attacks a year.

The FDA has yet to issue a ban on trans fats in foods, but restaurants and food companies have already begun reworking their recipes. Dr. Dean Ornish advised McDonald's and PepsiCo on removing trans fats from their foods years ago.

So, while trans fats may already be disappearing from the food you eat, this ruling shines a spotlight on the importance of eating right. Mothers everywhere have been telling their children to do so since the dawn of time, but now organizations are doing the same, and new research is backing them up. In a recent Healthways study, employees who ate healthy all day were 25% more likely to report higher job performance and were absent less.

When companies invest in the health and well-being of their employees, it's a win-win situation. Just another reason we are excited at Healthways to make Dr. Dean Ornish's 30-plus years of diet expertise and lifestyle change accessible to millions.

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Topics: In the News Workplace Well-Being Business Performance Health Prevention Trans Fats Productivity Government FDA Diet Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

The Quiet Emergency in Healthcare

Sandy Cummings

Can companies that offer personal money management programs improve the health of their employees and their own bottom lines? According to Leah Binder’s Forbes.com article, Healthways and Dave Ramsey believe so. Healthways CEO Ben Leedle calls financial distress the “the single greatest quiet emergency in the health world.”

From the c-suite to the front lines, some two-thirds of employees at American companies live one paycheck away from financial collapse. In response to this startling trend, Healthways recently announced an exclusive agreement with Dave Ramsey’s Lampo Group to deliver the CORE™ Financial Wellness program as part of its Well-Being Improvement Solution.

As part of the collaboration, Healthways will scale online delivery of the CORE™ curriculum, bringing new content, interactive features and support to the self-directed program and making it accessible via all media, including mobile devices to millions of Americans through their employers, health plans, health systems, communities and families. Healthways will also work with Gallup to incorporate financial well-being in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which tracks employee health like a stock market ticker.

So why should businesses care about employees’ finances? Healthways studied the connection between good health and good personal finance and found that “stress from finances took all their energy, and it wasn’t until employees got their financial house in order” that they could take on the challenge of improving their health.

By offering Dave Ramsey’s program that explores the deeply personal aspects of managing money, Healthways is poised to help workers improve their productivity and companies improve their profitability.

Topics: Financial Well-Being In the News Business Performance Dave Ramsey Competitive Advantage Stress

Employee Well-Being Predicts Productivity and Retention

Jennifer Rudloff

As employers today struggle with the rising costs of healthcare, we at Healthways are compelled to form a deeper understanding of the impact of well-being. Taking a comprehensive look at the well-being of employees at a Fortune 100 company in a first of its kind longitudinal study, scientists found that overall well-being is not only a predictor of healthcare costs but also other business outcomes related to productivity and retention.

A recent press release announced the publishing of this latest Healthways study in Population Health Management. The study results show that overall well-being is a predictor of outcomes related to:

  • Medical and Rx spending
  • ER visits and hospital admission
  • Absenteeism
  • Short-term disability
  • Presenteeism
  • Job performance
  • Intention to stay
  • Voluntary and involuntary turnover

It was also found that well-being improvement was significantly related to positive changes in most employer outcomes.

How can this shape your company’s future?

These study results build a strong business case for well-being as an organizational performance strategy. If your company does adopt an effective one, you could see substantial savings through the improved health, performance and retention of your workers.

Enlarge Infographic Infographic shows findings from the first part of the study

So what is well-being and how is it measured?

Overall well-being is multidimensional, considering a range of important life domains related to work, finances, emotional health, physical health and behavioral risks, as well as the quality of one’s connections and community.

For this study, baseline overall well-being was measured using individual results from the Healthways Well-Being Assessment®, healthcare claims and human resource administrative data.

The first part of the study examined the impact of well-being on the employer’s outcomes over one year. To see a summary of findings, expand the infographic shown here.

The second part of the study measured the impact over a longer period.

 

Want to learn more about our proven approach to improving well-being? Visit our website or contact us.

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Predictions Workplace Well-Being Healthcare Business Performance Productivity Healthways Wellness Program Success Stories