Who says wellness isn’t worthwhile?

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Experience shows that worksite wellness is a big part of every high-quality health plan.

We take exception with a recent JAMA study that said wellness simply isn’t working. While we could point out many reasons why their assessment is short-sighted, our main objection is that their viewpoint was based on the assumption that all wellness programs are the same. Not true!

Corporate Fitness & Health, our worksite wellness subsidiary, has designed, implemented and maintained customized corporate wellness programs for businesses since 1985 – long before worksite wellness became a common part of the employee benefits landscape.

After serving as a consulting resource for clients around the country, CF&H knows that like health plans, there are no cookie-cutter solutions to worksite wellness. Our experience in both the fully-insured and self-funded markets helps CF&H design programs that work because they target the risks driving healthcare costs.

One thing we will concede is that short-term returns from wellness are tough to come by. Health is complex and you simply cannot influence behavior overnight. Yet, CF&H generates 80% participation in the corporate wellness programs it manages and 61% say their program has lowered healthcare costs.

Fostering a culture of wellness within an organization does take time. But when long-term health and well-being, employee attraction and retention and developing a sense of community within the work space are at stake, the investment is more than worthwhile.

Tell Us How You Feel!

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Diversified Group Named One of Connecticut’s Healthiest Employers of 2018

This announcement from the Hartford Business Journal was published on December 3, 2018.

Meet CT’s healthiest workplaces

Hartford Business Journal’s first-ever Healthiest Employers Awards recognize organizations dedicated to employee health and safety in addition to their efforts to implement wellness programs.

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The awards program was done in partnership with the Healthiest Employers Group, which determined the finalists and winners using a scoring methodology managed by Springbuk, a privately held technology and data research firm.

Companies that participated in the awards program had to complete an hour-long online assessment. Companies were then ranked based on their performance on the following six measures: culture and leadership commitment; foundational components; strategic planning; communication and marketing; programming and interventions; and reporting and analytics.

CATEGORY: 0-150 CT EMPLOYEES

1st Place | Antea Group

2nd Place | FM Global

3rd Place | Gallagher

4th Place | Diversified Group

5th Place | Safelite AutoGlass

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Photo Source: Hartford Business Journal

Diversified Group

4th Place | Category: 0-150 CT employees

Industry: Employee benefits

CT Headquarters: Marlborough

CT Employees: 64

When Diversified Group (DG) started its fitness program back in 1985, it basically consisted of a boot camp-style fitness contest.

But over the years, commitment to health and wellness among employees has intensified to where DG now has a wellness department staffed by six certified health coaches, personal trainers and registered dietitians. The wellness team is responsible for spearheading the company’s wellness program.

DG has also maintained a modest fitness facility on its grounds, and within the last five years, certified instructors have been stopping by on a weekly basis for cycling, strength and yoga classes.

DG also hosts regular meditation workshops giving workers access to guided meditation sessions to decompress and recharge.

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Factoring in wellness programs during open enrollment

wellness-programs-webThis article was published on November 5, 2018 on Employee Benefit News, written by Ann Marie O’Brien.

This fall, millions of employees are deciding which health plan to select for 2019. They are reviewing and comparing a variety of factors when making this important decision, such as costs, benefits and care provider networks.

Another component that crops up to the surprise of many workers? Wellness programs.

Employers know that a healthy employee can make for a more productive, satisfied employee. And many workers want to improve their health and are often surprised to learn that employers offer wellness programs. That mutual interest is behind the rise of workplace wellness programs.

Wellness programs usually are made available to employees by their companies directly or through health benefit plans. In either case, employees can factor in the value of wellness offerings, such as weight-loss programs, tobacco-cessation programs or health screenings when determining a health plan that best meets their needs.

A recent UnitedHealthcare report, “Employee Wellness Programs Bring Results,” suggests that companies that strengthen their wellness offerings can yield cost-savings and improve employee health over the long-term.

Many companies, like those highlighted in the report, have successfully established a culture of well-being through their wellness programs.

While each company’s wellness program may be strongest when tailored to its employees’ needs, successful programs often include offering meaningful financial incentives, or a mental health focus through offerings like mindfulness classes and relaxation rooms, or a financial well-being component, like estate-planning seminars. And, many employers find offering the services of a wellness coordinator or nurse liaison onsite encourages a culture of health.

The report compared companies with award-winning wellness programs alongside a peer group of similar companies. It found those that make positive changes to their health offerings over the years may reap the rewards of healthier employees and reduced healthcare costs down the road.

For example, these companies experienced 14.2% per-member, per-month lower costs, even with a 7.5% greater claim risk score (based on their employees’ health status), than the peer group, and the employees at the high-performing companies experienced 24% fewer emergency room visits. Also, the report finds that it can take time for employer wellness programs to yield significant benefits.

Strengthening wellness programs strengthens employees.

The report revealed that the companies with the most effective programs had several common characteristics that contribute to their plan’s positive results and encourage a culture of health, including enthusiastic involvement by senior leaders, positive encouragement from internal advocates, offering employee incentives and putting in place measurable success barometers.

Also, these companies conduct health surveys and challenges, biometric screenings and financial well-being programs, and they all survey their employees to gather feedback to refine their programs.

The informational benefits meetings that are often part of open enrollment offer companies a good opportunity to collect and analyze employee feedback to further strengthen their wellness offerings. It is also an ideal time for employers who have not yet done so to consider offering a wellness program that supports their employees’ health and may improve their well-being while reducing costs for employees and the company.

Have You Defined Your Health Strategy?

health-assessmentWhen it comes to improving the health and well-being of your employees, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be super creative or search for that magic bullet that automatically boosts engagement and changes behavior. If only it were that easy!

Like any other important business initiative, worksite wellness and health management must begin with a plan, a budget and a strategy. Your plan needs to be based on realistic goals and objectives and executed strategically over the long-term. Most importantly, your plan must be designed to benefit everyone and taken to heart at every level of the organization, top to bottom. If health management is not lived by leadership, others will never take it seriously.

Numbers Seldom Lie
Recent surveys by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health show that fewer than 1 in 5 companies have defined a health strategy for their organizations. Surveys also show that in 2014, companies “working” their plan reported per employee healthcare expenses nearly $2,000 lower than companies doing little in the area of health management.

Perhaps the most meaningful numbers in your plan are those that rise to the surface through biometric screenings. Identifying each individual’s health risks is the ingredient that truly can change behavior, help fight chronic disease and improve quality of life. Relevant, personalized health data can make the difference between talk and action, and ultimately, between estrangement and engagement.

Never Stop Communicating
Virtually every employer group will consist of those who are already actively engaged in their health, a similar number with little or no interest and the majority who may not be actively engaged but can be influenced over time. The key to a successful health strategy is consistent, honest communication – telling employees what your program includes, why the program is being made available, how they can benefit and when they need to get involved. Communication is critical for those who come on board, especially when incentives are included. Keeping things simple and fun will always generate better results and help keep the focus on people’s well-being rather than the company’s bottom line.

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Corporate Fitness & Health Offers Summer Screening Special – Call Today!

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For a limited time only, Corporate Fitness & Health (CF&H) is offering discounted onsite health screenings! Schedule your screening for anytime from now until August 31, 2016 and receive 20% off per person.

965aab05-0823-4c6a-b9a6-b8f590b2351dScreening Includes:

  • A Non-Fasting Finger Stick Test which includes:
    • Total Cholesterol
    • HDL
    • Cholesterol Risk Ratio
    • Glucose
  • Blood Pressure Check
  • Height
  • Weight
  • BMI
  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Estimated Level of Hydration

Contact Corporate Fitness & Health today for more information via email at info@cfandh.com or call toll-free (800) 423-5591.

To be eligible for this discounted rate, you must be a first time Corporate Fitness & Health client and schedule your onsite health screening for the months of July or August 2016.  Travel costs may apply for locations outside of Connecticut.

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Wellness Programs Should Meet Employee Needs First and Foremost

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Decades of experience in worksite wellness has taught us that a wellness program is not something an employer can just pull off a shelf. To be successful, a wellness program must be custom designed to meet the needs of employees and your workplace.

To help clients achieve the appropriate level of customization, Diversified Group offers a wide range of wellness plan options, from very basic online health risk assessments and workshops to more comprehensive plans with features such as one-on-one health coaching and HIPAA compliant incentives.

At Diversified Group, wellness programs are available for as little as $24 per employee per year – a small investment that can have a big impact on future claim costs.

Click to learn more about how our Worksite Wellness Programs can improve your employee benefits offerings and help control costs or Contact Diversified Group today.

Is Your Organization Encouraging Wellness?

A worksite wellness program that consists of only a health risk assessment is missing out on the opportunity to impact the broader factors that influence unhealthy behavior in employees’ lives – such as physical and emotional stress, both at work and home.

The Institute for Wellness Education has conducted research that shows significant gaps in understanding as to what constitutes good health and wellness. Studies show that more than 1 in 3 Americans do not recognize the difference between wellness and the absence of diagnosed illness or disease. In addition, misconceptions are prevalent with regard to how to make effective and sustainable lifestyle changes.

For example, despite evidence demonstrating that multiple factors – including psychological, social, physiological and sustainable weight loss, 73% of men and 68% of women believe willpower to be the most important element.

Sustainable change requires solutions tailored to the individual’s needs, interests and desires. Employers can impact unhealthy behaviors by offering a variety of programs that encourage or promote healthy habits and activities, both in the workplace and at home.

For more health and wellness tips and information, view the Diversified Group’s Summer Group Scoop Newsletter.

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