Employers all over the country are implementing health and wellness initiatives – and for good reason. Savings from health programs are clear. According to a Harvard Business Review article, disease management generated an average of $136 in savings per member, per month and a 30% reduction in hospital admissions. In addition, companies experienced “reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, greater employee engagement and productivity, less unscheduled paid time off, fewer workers’ comp claims, greater employee retention, increased employee satisfaction and morale, and demonstrable competitive advantage.” A challenge for employers, however, is figuring out how to get employees to buy into the health programs.
Tips for Improving Employee Utilization of Resources
- Make it Easy to Access
- Simplify Enrollment
- Include Free Live Help for Questions
- Communicate Effectively: Go Beyond Email
1. Make it Easy to Access – “How do I find my benefits?”
One of the biggest complaints about benefits that I hear from employees is that they do not know how to access them. For example, I recently spoke to an executive who said that his company paid for a gym membership, but he didn’t know where to go to get the reimbursement! Many wellness vendors have their own website and mobile applications (apps). For employees, it means trying to keep track of all of the different vendor websites.
Your solution? Place all of your company’s health and wellness resources in one location that the employees can easily access. Having all available resources easily accessible in one company mobile app will ensure that employees can look for those benefits even when they are at home or on the go. Click here to see how the Continuwell app can do this for your employees.
2. Simplify Enrollment – “I don’t have time to sign up and fill out paperwork!”
Let’s face it, we all live busy lives and employees want more free time to be with their families, enjoy hobbies, and take time off. Difficulty in enrolling in a health program or company plan is a common reason employees shy away from signing up. Having everything in one place is a first step, but you also need to make sure that employees are able to easily sign up for benefits using their smartphones. Having enrollment forms accessible in your company’s mobile app means increased employee buy-in and decreased health costs for your company. Forms need to be simple and easy to find.
3. Include Free Live Help for Questions – “It is Friday night. Can I talk to someone about my diabetes and our company’s exercise program?”
Health questions often arise after working hours. That is when your employees are relaxed and ready to take advantage of the wellness benefits provided by your company. This is also when they have questions about the benefits being offered and how to access them. Having someone available to answer their questions, or at least inform them about benefits, can make the difference between a program with employee adoptions and a program that the employer invests in but no one uses.
For example, Continuwell offers 24/7 free access to qualified nurses. These nurses evaluate employees’ health conditions and determine if a doctor or medical facility visit is needed. Nurses are also able to educate employees by sending them information related to their health issues (diabetes, smoking cessation, etc.), as well as information about company resources available to them.
4. Communicate Effectively: Go Beyond Email– “I get too many emails and I don’t have time.”
Many employees find that their email inbox can be overwhelming. Often, company emails can be overlooked or easily dismissed. Employees no longer have to check emails or fear missing deadlines when you provide an app for company health resources. An app can use push notifications for company communication and even customize messages to be sent out to segmented employee groups. Studies find push notifications increase app engagement by 88%. In addition, a calendar feature allows upcoming deadlines and events to be sent directly to employees through the app.
Save Your Company Money and Improve Employee Health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 111 million workdays are lost because of influenza, at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the average cost of an emergency room visit is around $2,168. Giving employees easy access to your company’s health and wellness resources combats these numbers by offering employees access to resources for symptom care and empowering them to be healthy. This saves both employees and employers money and time.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our mobile application can help organize your company’s benefits and employee services, please contact us for more information.