By Rod Reasen
A recent Gallup study showed that only 22% of employees are engaged and thriving. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that employees who scored low on “life satisfaction” stayed home from work 1.25 more days per month than their happier counterparts, adding up to about 15 additional days off per year. This begs the question: What are organizations losing as a result?
When it comes to engaging employees, employers and managers might be quick to believe adding a ping pong table to the break room or a happy hour on Thursdays will boost morale. However, encouraging positive attitudes and a healthy lifestyle amongst the workplace doesn’t start with refreshments – it starts with Health Intelligence.
For too long, employers have been arbitrarily selecting wellness programs, unsure of their success. The availability of data combined with a powerful Health Intelligence platform changes this paradigm. Employers can now fully understand the health problems and actionable opportunities in their organization making way for proper decisions about the vendors they choose. By utilizing real-time data, machine learning and modern predictive methodologies, employers can make the right choice for their wellness programs, empowering them to improve their population’s health and effectively track impact.
Put simply, a Health Intelligence platform gives the ability to prevent disease with data. Unlike typical health analytics tools, a Health Intelligence platform provides actionable opportunities saving both the time and the headache of searching for the problem, allowing employers to move from data explorer to problem solver and the result is a healthier and more productive workforce in less time.
Prevent disease with data.
It’s an audacious vision but one worth pursuing. A Health Intelligence platform’s goal goes far beyond cost-shifting measures and aims to use data to prevent disease. Innovative health solutions give employers the ability to efficiently access data and information. And by leveraging smart data, those that need to be in a position to read the results – not just database wizards – are able to uncover key insights and most importantly, take action.
By forecasting conditions within employee populations, employers can work to improve their population’s overall well-being by better understanding where there is an opportunity to prevent spend and improve health versus reacting to what already happened. Therefore, certain diseases can be prevented, risks are mitigated, benefits and healthcare offerings are revamped, and population health starts to improve.
Encourage exercise and fitness.
Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity a day. While it might be difficult to establish a bring-your-treadmill-to-work day, research has shown that devoting work time to exercise can lead to higher productivity in the office. Health Intelligence moves employers into the driver seat by displaying actionable opportunities for integrating exercise and fitness programs in the office, such as a “move a mile to work challenge” or establishing walking meetings, take advantage of those ideas and work them into a company’s routine.
Focus on the future.
US healthcare and the broader wellness industry is going through a major Copernican shift. Employers sit at the center of the universe with outcomes being more closely aligned between the employee and employer than with any other segment of the healthcare ecosystem.
Think about it, who is most financially rewarded when employees are healthy; the employer, insurance carrier, doctor, or hospital system? As this shift takes place, leveraging data that was once not accessible is now available. Machine learning and AI combined with computation power are revolutionizing how we access information and changing the way we engage in every manner of life.
Employees’ well-being starts with their employers – and their employers start with Health Intelligence. By providing actionable insights into implementing a healthy, more sustainable workforce, employers will see a difference in their organization’s productivity and engagement, ensuring their team is their best version of themselves.
About the Author
Rod Reasen is the Co-Founder and CEO ofSpringbuk. Prior to launching Springbuk, Rod founded and scaled a benefits consulting firm into one of the largest in the Midwest. Additionally, in 2009, he launched the nationally recognized Healthiest Employers award program designed to recognize the top healthiest workplaces in America. Rod’s passion in his professional life is finding creative and innovative ways to help fix America’s healthcare ecosystem.