Employee Wellness Training

Employee wellness programs are no longer a novelty, something offered only by particularly progressive or enlightened employers. In a 2009 survey conducted by Buck Consultants, more than 77% of U.S. employers said that they offer some employee wellness training, and 64% indicated that they have a wellness strategy in place (compared to 60% in 2008).

The Buck survey found that some of the most popular employee wellness program ideas are employee health screenings, including biometric screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat; health risk appraisals (employee wellness surveys on health and lifestyle), executive screening programs, immunizations, gym or fitness club membership discounts, health portals and websites, on-site educational classes, and employee health fairs.

Wellness Programs at Work

Employee wellness training encourages workers to adopt or maintain healthy lifestyles – or at least take the first steps toward learning about healthy alternatives. Choosing healthier alternatives to reduce cholesterol levels, for example, can reduce an employee’s risk of heart disease. Less disease means employers can lower their plan utilization, thus lowering health benefits costs, and in turn, increasing profits. There are additional benefits too, such as increased productivity, fewer workers’ compensation claims, better attendance, and improved morale.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides a grant program to assist small businesses that provide comprehensive workplace wellness programs. Grants will be awarded to eligible employers to provide their employees with access to new workplace wellness initiatives. The grants will be awarded starting in 2011 with $200 million appropriated for a 5-year period. To be eligible, an organization must employ fewer than 100 employees who work 25 hours or more per week, and must not have had a workplace wellness program in place as of March 23, 2010 (the date of PPACA’s enactment).

Risks of Employee Wellness Incentives

Employers have a great deal of flexibility in designing employee health and wellness programs, but it is advisable to review any program with an attorney, and employers should work closely with insurance providers if the wellness program will offer financial incentives or benefits through group health plans.

Employers should be aware that some employee wellness programs can run afoul of federal and state laws in terms of reasonable accommodation, privacy, confidentiality of personal health information, and protected off-duty conduct.

For example, an employee wellness program that offers financial incentives to employees who walk a certain number of miles per week may discriminate against employees whose disabilities preclude them from reaching the target number. Offering a reasonable alternative that allows a disabled worker to earn the employee wellness incentive may satisfy certain legal requirements – but crafting such alternatives may be challenging. Employers should have their legal counsel review a wellness program before it’s presented to employees.

TrainingToday Offers Employee Wellness Training

TrainingToday offers courses that can help you launch or improve your employee wellness training, including:

  • Creating a Successful Wellness Program- A Guide for Managers
  • Fitness for Everyone
  • Driver Wellness
  • Workplace Stress Management Training – Wellness Training
  • A Manager’s Role in Wellness
  • Wellness and You

Related Training Courses

A Manager’s Role in Wellness

Managers play a key role in making a workplace wellness program a success. Managers need to help to motivate staff by setting a good example, provide the tools that staff needs to keep themselves on the right track, communicate your organization’s wellness messages, and help to educate staff on the latest wellness techniques. This online wellness course for managers will empower key staff on how to embrace a wellness program, and show the critical role managers play in the success of the program

Creating a Successful Wellness Program: A Guide for Managers

A workplace wellness program needs to be well-focused and well-executed to succeed. This training course goes over the necessary steps to create a successful wellness program designed for the specific health risks and vulnerabilities of your employee population. A well-run wellness program can not only help employees be healthier but also increase your bottom line by decreasing healthcare costs, decreasing employee time away from work, increasing productivity, and even increasing morale.

Balancing Work and Home

Many people struggle to juggle a full-time job while also caring for young children, aging parents, and other responsibilities on a daily basis. It can feel like there are not enough hours in a day…. that there are too many responsibilities at work and at home—and that you can’t complete tasks in either place… many people feel this way. This online employee wellness course helps trainees manage home and work responsibilities, stress, and daily expectations. The benefits to you, the employer, are

Related Training Libraries

Wellness

The Wellness Training Library includes everything you need for both your managers who help to set up and manage a workplace wellness program–and your employees to learn about keeping themselves and their families healthy. Statistics show that keeping employees healthy can not only improve their quality of life–but it can also significantly impact your bottom line with reduced. . .