Employers keen to evolve health programs: Survey

But many not focused on activities to reduce health risks, costs
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/09/2012

Canadian employers are keen to evolve their workplace health programs to be more integrated, to include measurement and to focus on addressing health risks and related costs, according to a Rapid Response Survey released by Aon Hewitt. However, programs have not evolved, it said.

“The majority of programs are focused on awareness and education and not on activities designed to reduce health risks and associated costs.”

When it comes to desired wellness program outcomes, the top choice for employers is a healthy workplace culture (75 per cent). Both cost reductions and improved productivity and performance are favoured by 54 per cent, followed by improved employee engagement (51 per cent), improved health status of the workforce (49 per cent) and recruitment and retention (15 per cent).

Employers that see cost reduction as a desired outcome focus their efforts on disability (32 per cent), drugs (26 per cent) and absence (25 per cent), found the survey of 120 employers.

However, there’s a lack of measurement, said Aon Hewitt. One-third (32 per cent) of employers do not know which cost drivers to address and only 11.5 per cent currently measure return on investment.

And while most respondents (87 per cent) agree an integrated approach to managing health is critical, only 15 per cent see their programs as integrated, it said.

When it comes to program components, employee assistance programs (94 per cent), newsletters (89 per cent) and lunch and learns (79 per cent) are considered “excepted.” On-site fitness or nutrition classes (64 per cent) are considered “progressive” along with online health-risk assessments (62 per cent) and coaching to support health-risk behaviour change (58 per cent).

“Innovative “ components include on-site biometric screening (58 per cent), concierge services for health-related questions (45 per cent) and wellness accounts, behaviour change coaching and second opinion medical services (31 per cent), found the survey.

Current and future wellness program components

Currently offer

Plan to offer
in next 2 years

Do not offer
(did not respond)

Analyzing data to establish top cost drivers

54 per cent

19 per cent

27 per cent

Challenges (such as walking or weight loss)

48 per cent

22 per cent

31 per cent

Coaching to support high health-risk behaviour change

17 per cent

29 per cent

54 per cent

Concierge service

11 per cent

13 per cent

76 per cent

Determining whether health and benefit costs are higher or lower than peer groups

45 per cent

22 per cent

33 per cent

EAPs

88 per cent

3 per cent

9 per cent

Executive medicals

35 per cent

13 per cent

53 per cent

Fitness memberships

39 per cent

13 per cent

48 per cent

Health spending accounts

60 per cent

13 per cent

28 per cent

Incentive programs

21 per cent

26 per cent

53 per cent

Online health modules

33 per cent

18 per cent

49 per cent

Online health-risk assessments

39 per cent

28 per cent

33 per cent

On-site biometric risk screening

11 per cent

23 per cent

67 per cent

Quantifying ROI

12 per cent

38 per cent

50 per cent

Second opinion medical services

24 per cent

17 per cent

59 per cent

Smoking cessation

50 per cent

12 per cent

38 per cent

Wellness accounts

24 per cent

20 per cent

56 per cent

Add Comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *