The Workplace Wellness App
Read the following to find out why the Wellness App is important to wellness programme development and how it can help you optimise your investment - an excerpt from “The New Discipline of Workforce Wellness: Enhancing Corporate Performance by Tackling Chronic Disease”, World Economic Forum, 2010.
Developing an Integrated Approach to Wellness
The Wellness App can provide useful insights, but it is not a substitute for the kind of thorough approach that would underpin a typical capital investment programme. An effective wellness programme should have three key characteristics: it should be based on robust analytics; it should be guided by a strategic vision and deep corporate engagement; and it should comprise a comprehensive portfolio of activities that modify employees’ behaviours and reinforce these changes by influencing their environment, both at work and in their communities. In combination, these three elements can create a virtuous circle, with the results of various activities enriching the analytics, strengthening corporate engagement and leading to even more effective interventions. (See Exhibit 3)
A wellness programme should be predicated on data showing the company-specific causes and extent of lost productivity and health-care costs, as well as the risk factors and the impact of potential interventions. In the absence of such data, the topic would fail to get the attention of the executive suite, and the programme would most likely remain an HR issue.
Several executives interviewed as part of the study emphasized the importance of analytics and data. ‘One of the key things we need to take our wellness programme forward is better data, more robust analysis,’ noted the director of international affairs of a global food and beverage company. ‘Otherwise, I don’t have the attention of my executives.’
An example of how to do things comes from Navistar International. In developing its Vital Lives wellness programme, the company used detailed analytics to estimate the cost of key risk factors and design a portfolio of interventions. (See Exhibit 4.)
The Wellness App provides directionally correct insights into key drivers of healthcare costs and lost productivity, along with the impact and implementation costs of different interventions. For some small and midsize companies, this may be enough to begin building a case for developing a comprehensive programme. Other companies can easily leverage claims data from private health insurers or arrange health risk assessments (HRAs) for employees to identify, and target, their specific cost drivers.”