wellness companies

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Wellness Companies

A wellness company helps other businesses establish programs to improve the personal well-being of its workers. These companies use awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to boost the quality of life of the individuals.

Wellness companies provide tailored, personalized plans per individual and business. The plans are the result of using expertise, guided experience, and opinions. The goal is to improve individual health so they’re productive, less of a health insurance strain, and to create a happier atmosphere.

Have you considered promoting healthy lifestyles for your employees? Great!

Let’s explore the common mistakes when choosing a provider before you make the decision on which company to hire.

Five Common Mistakes of Wellness Companies

There are hundreds of wellness companies across the United States. That’s not including the thousands of smaller businesses offering these services. This makes the process of choosing the provider quite the challenge. It’s not only about the program but whether the info and guidance align (and stick) with the workforce.

What better way to weed out the low-quality contenders than to learn of the common mistakes? Let’s take a look at five that are red flags.

1. Incentives (without guidance)

Effective wellness programs use incentives to motivate employees to keep their healthy lifestyle and routines. These incentives are monetary bonuses but may also include merchandising, extra vacation days, and flex time.

Unfortunately, not all wellness programs lead to commitment. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement. But, so should the routine by rewarding activity and reaching milestones.

2. Inclusion and competition

The introduction of an incentive-based wellness program could lead to confrontation without the proper direction.

One would hope for positive competition to drive employees. Though, tensions between management and the workforce could exacerbate with this new outlet to compete. This could result forming inclusion that deters others from committing. Others do not want to commit because of the hostile environment.

3. Convoluted tracking & reporting

The wellness program is effective when biometric data is recorded often and used to make logical decisions on how best to motivate participation. A program that tries to factor dozens of data points creates a convoluted system that’s hard to track and report upon.

Instead, focus on one or two metrics:

  • Activity levels
  • Weight loss
  • Morale
  • Health care costs

Start small (weight loss) and work upward to bigger wins (health care costs) to determine the success of the program. Over time you’ll have the opportunity to expand your data set and measure a larger sample of biometrics. But, keep it simple for now when first starting out.

4. Commitment (both sides)

Healthy living isn’t accomplished in a few short weeks. Commitment must be the same as one would approach lifestyle changes versus a quick flash-in-the-pan trial of a diet.

The commitment needs to come from two angles:

  • Continual milestones, goals, and activity
  • Leading by example

The workforce will not commit if the higher-ups do not take part. The leadership needs to be present the same as any other area of the business. Practice what you preach. Do so and the employees will find the motivation to keep going.

It’s during this time to measure the mental well-being of the individuals as well.

Employees will develop the stamina and muscle to do the routines. Yet, if they aren’t emotionally stable and focused this can result in relapse. Use meetings, incentives (see above), and helpfulness to motivate those struggling so they do not lose their will to continue.

5. Lacking the ease of access

The tools and resources should not take considerable effort to find or use. This includes access to exercise equipment, healthy foods, and support (online, in-person, or over-the-phone).

Display results and community achievements with the discretion of the participants. Displaying these achievements encourage peer support. It also provides visual aids to understand progress.

Finding the Fit in Fitness

The mistakes made by wellness companies are beneficial. Meaning they are indicators to cut out the majority that isn’t aligned with your goals. Work your way backward through the selections and then consider the factors that make for a good fit with these programs. This way you have a great balance of what (and what not) to look for in these companies.

Justifying the Costs of Wellness Companies

Many business owners are skeptical of the return on investment with wellness programs. It’s easy to see why considering the costs to install these programs and the possible resistance that may be present within the workforce.

Studies have concluded that wellness programs do not cut costs but they do cut hospitalizations. The data collected showed that while costs associated inpatient hospital visits decreased there was an increase to out-patient services.

“At BJC, we understand that changing behavior to improve human health is a journey that is ongoing,” said Steve Lipstein, BJC president and CEO. “It cannot be easily measured in dollar cost savings. Wellness programs are about giving employees the information they need to understand and manage their personal health. Cost savings may follow over time, but nothing is more valuable than achieving and staying in good health.”

The justification for the investment in wellness companies should tap into this long-term goal. Critics agree that in order for the programs to work there must be trust in the system. If this trust is present then employee well-being and morale increases. This will lead to lower health costs, higher employee retention, and reduced absenteeism.

The result? A 3:1 return on investment.

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that promoting lifestyles that increase worker satisfaction and health is a good thing. Wellness programs are a great option for those that care for the well-being of their workforce. They’re easy to install but come with a host of mistakes unless you stay sharp and avoid these pitfalls covered in the article.

Need help choosing the right wellness company for your business? Take a look through our extensive network or get in touch for a personalized suggestion. We’re happy to help you find the perfect match!

lifestyle counseling

Why Everyone (Healthy and Not) Needs Lifestyle Counseling

You might have heard it said that America doesn’t have health care, but instead has “sick care.”

This comment reflects that fact that, of the money spent on health care in the United States, 75% is spent on treating preventable diseases. In other words, Americans spend more money treating sick people than promoting behaviors that prevent sickness.

But many folks are working to change this by taking charge of their own wellness. One way to do this is with healthy lifestyle counseling.

Depending on your current situation, lifestyle counseling can help you either improve or maintain your health. Let’s look at some of the ways it can benefit you personally.

What Is Lifestyle Counseling?

The purpose of lifestyle counseling is to help a patient identify factors that affect their wellness and to learn better habits and behaviors. Like other types of counseling, health counseling is centered on directed conversations between the patient and the provider.

Lifestyle counseling can focus either on preventative measures or on behaviors to alleviate current ailments. For instance, a patient with a family history of high cholesterol may seek health counseling to learn good diet habits. By contrast, a patient with diabetes may benefit from counseling to learn habits to maintain their condition.

What Kinds of Behaviors Will Counseling Address?

When you visit a lifestyle counselor, they ask a variety of questions about your daily habits and practices. This helps them to get a better idea of what factors could be affecting your health.

For instance, most lifestyle counselors will ask questions about your eating habits. This will help them identify whether your diet is healthy.

In some cases, a counselor may identify foods in your diet that could be adversely affecting you. For example, while you may not have noticed that you tend to experience stomach problems after eating dairy or eggs, a lifestyle counselor might notice this.

Of course, exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. Based on your current level of fitness, they will recommend exercises that are appropriate for you.

A counselor will also ask about your sleep habits. They typically ask how long you sleep, and whether you sleep through the night.

Sleep allows the body to heal itself and manage stress. If the counselor notices that your sleep is irregular, they can help you identify habits to promote better sleep.

Finally, they will also ask about your relationships with your friends and family. While this might not seem relevant to your overall health, it actually has a big impact on it. People who have supportive relationships in their life are more successful in implementing healthy activities.

What Are the Benefits of Counseling?

If you are generally healthy, you may feel that you do not need health counseling. But the truth is that both healthy and sick people can benefit from counseling.

Avoid Preventable Illnesses

As we discussed at the beginning of this article, most health costs in the United States are related to treating preventable conditions. One of the biggest benefits of health counseling is learning behaviors to avoid these conditions.

For instance, research indicates that the average cost of treating type-2 diabetes over a lifetime is $85,000. Investing in lifestyle counseling could help a patient learn to manage their sugar intake early in life, making it less likely that they will develop diabetes. Preventing these kinds of chronic illnesses will lower patient health care costs significantly.

Another large source of health care costs is obesity-related disease and complications. Factors related to metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can be expensive to manage. Adopting healthy eating and regular exercise can reduce the likelihood of developing these illnesses.

Manage Stress

Healthy eating and exercise are not the only lifestyle factors to consider when seeking health counseling. Mental health-related issues like stress and anxiety can also be addressed with health counseling.

Stress is related to many adverse health symptoms, including muscle pain, insomnia, chest tension, and headaches. Counseling can help patients learn strategies to combat stress. These include breathing routines, exercise, and meditation.

Get a Full Picture of Your Health

One of the problems with America’s approach to healthcare is that it can sometimes be fragmented. If you are experiencing stomach pains, you will visit a gastroenterologist. If you have trouble sleeping, you will seek out a sleep specialist.

Each of these specialists will look at one aspect of your health and will respond to that aspect. As the old saying goes, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This can prevent physicians from identifying the connections between varied symptoms.

By contrast, a lifestyle counselor works to find the root causes of symptoms. For instance, if you are having digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain, a lifestyle counselor may be able to identify stress or anxiety as the root cause. This way, you can treat the causes of your illness, rather than just manage the symptoms.

Promote Employee Wellness

Most Americans with health insurance receive their health insurance benefits from their employer. Since patients with good coverage do not have to cover all of their own medical expenses, they sometimes do not consider the costs of developing long-term health problems.

Even if employees do not always consider these issues, their employers do. This is why many employers are adopting corporate wellness programs, which promote healthy living among their employees. By promoting employee wellness, employers can lower their health care costs.

This is why many corporate wellness programs include access to lifestyle counseling. The goal is that investing in this counseling will lower the total cost of health care for all employees. Additionally, healthy employees are often more productive, which boosts the company’s bottom line.

Taking Steps to Better Health

With the right lifestyle counseling, you can develop healthy habits that will improve your quality of life.

If you want to learn more about how counseling can improve your lifestyle, contact us. Our experts will work with you to find the perfect plan for your needs.