The Well-Being Journal

Healthways Board Member Responds to EEOC’s Proposed Rule on Wellness Programs

Madison Agee

Bill_Novelli
Bill Novelli

In April of this year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a proposed rule and additional guidance regarding corporate wellness programs, addressing how these programs can better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the EEOC suggests that employers may need to revise their programs’ financial incentives, data privacy standards and enrollment practices.

In an article published last week on the website Morning Consult, Bill Novelli, professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and Healthways board member, offered his opinion on the EEOC’s proposed rule and the resulting complexities it will create for companies. Entitled “Government Should Promote Wellness, Not Impede It,” the article suggests that the additional regulation of corporate wellness programs created by the EEOC’s new rule could be counter-productive to making a positive impact on key healthcare issues such as rising rates of chronic illness and obesity. Novelli asserts that the new restrictions proposed by the EEOC will make it harder for companies to implement and sustain successful wellness programs.

According to Novelli, the new rule and guidance undermine the collaboration between business and government that is necessary to truly move the needle on the state of health within the United States. To learn more, read the full article here.

Topics: Wellness Program Legal EEOC

Should You Be Emphasizing "Feminine" Values at Your Organization?

Madison Agee

According to New York Times best-selling author and corporate consultant John Gerzema, the values that we traditionally associate with femininity – such as nurture, empathy, collaboration and flexibility – are the “operating system of the 21st century.” As he recently discussed at Healthways’ 2014 Well-Being Summit, where he connected well-being to leadership and consumer trends, most people already think these feminine values are of great importance, a trend that will only continue to grow in the future.

In the book, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future, which Gerzema co-authored by Michael D’Antonio, the authors explore this idea in detail. Their research, which took into account surveys of 64,000 people in 13 countries around the world, reveals some interesting insight into what people believe to be important and the values and approaches they feel will benefit themselves, their families, communities and workplaces, and the greater good.

Results from the surveys indicate that two-thirds of people think the world would be a better place if men thought like women. More than half (57 percent) are also frustrated with the conduct of men. The authors then split their original survey group of 64,000 into two halves and asked the first half to classify 125 human traits (e.g., “confident,” “visionary,” “adaptive”) according to whether the traits were masculine, feminine or neither. They then asked the other half to rank the same 125 traits (which were not given any gender association) based on how those traits relate to leadership, success, morality and happiness.

Conclusions from their research led the authors to assert that people all over the world are looking for more “feminine” leaders – leaders whose power stems more from gentle influence and persuasion than autocratic control. Gerzema and D’Antonio also concluded that feminine values are on the rise, and that people now prefer these values to those historically associated with masculinity.

Gerzema provided Summit attendees with both the results of their research and examples of how this rise of feminine values is being played out in far-flung corners of the world. He discussed how businesses and organizations all over the world are rejecting traditional models associated with masculinity and instead emphasizing these more feminine approaches to leadership, work and productivity – and achieving incredible success from doing so.

Traits such as empathy, collaboration, inclusion and humility are helping organizations achieve their business goals. As surprising evidence of this shift in thinking, Gerzema shared that 67 percent of survey participants indicated that they would work for less money at a company in which they truly believed, upturning the classic model that people are primarily motivated by money. Clearly, liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals — in other words, having a sense of purpose — is a significant contributor to well-being. To learn more about the importance of well-being, download the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Report.

Topics: Well-Being Wellness Program Leadership Women Well-Being Summit Feminine

Five Hits of Community Well-Being for June

Sandy Cummings

The weather's looking good, and it's time to get out and enjoy it. Here's a quick list of community events to help improve your well-being in June.

June 6 – National Yo-Yo Day

National Yo-Yo Day is the perfect day to get out your yo-yo and have some fun playing “Sleeper,” “Walk the Dog” and “Shooting the Moon.” Believed to be invented in ancient Greece, the Yo-Yo became popular in America when Donald F. Duncan Sr. manufactured the “Duncan Yo-Yo” in the early 1900s. You can visit the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, California.

June 7 – National Trails Day

National Trails Day is a celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and features a series of outdoor activities designed to promote the importance of the 200,000 miles of trails in the United States. Trails provide access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude and inspiration, and they give us a means to support good physical and mental health. Pick a trail and breathe fresh air, get your heart pumping, and escape from stress.

Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, bird watching and more. Check out the website for an official event being held near you.

 

Heath Jones, Healthways Coach-of-the-Year and member of the Innergy team at Healthways' Seattle Well-Being Improvement Center, is “Stepping It Up” in June as he gets ready for a 40-mile hike in Yosemite over Fourth of July weekend. In preparation, Heath will be hiking by himself or with a group every week, mountain biking twice with his friend Nick, logging at least four miles on the step-mill at the gym each week, and continuing his regular strength training routine. That's Heath training in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest!

June 14 – National Get Outdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. Prime goals of the day are to reach first-time visitors to public lands and reconnect youth to the outdoors. Participating partners will offer opportunities for families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities.

June 19 – National Recess at Work Day

Rich DiGirolamo, founder of Recess at Work, believes that to keep people engaged, loyal and productive, you need to create a work environment that is fun. But having fun at work and being a fun place to work are two very different things. Recess at Work is an opportunity to create team spirit, engage employees, increase morale, improve health and wellness, and share your fun side with your colleagues.

June 28 – Great American Backyard Campout

The Great American Backyard Campout is a part of the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to help inspire Americans to protect wildlife, including a three-year campaign to get 10 million kids to spend regular outdoor time in nature. Thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in this annual event that provides a fun-filled evening for all generations to get outside and connect with nature.

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being In the News Exercise Workplace Well-Being Physical Health Health Emotional Health Community Daily Challenge Healthways Events Wellness Program

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