In the previous article of this series, "Part 1: Why Are Your Workers' Comp Claims Doubling?" we discussed comorbidities. If you don't recall from the last article or are starting with part 2 of the series, comorbidities are medical conditions that exist at the same time another condition is being treated. The most common comorbidities are obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and drug abuse. Unfortunately, these nasty things can raise your claims costs by about $10,500-$13,500 per claim, depending on the comorbidity.
So, is there something you can do about it? The truth is there isn't a fast-fix. As an employer you can't control what genetic dispositions your employees have or even how they choose to live their lives. There are, however, steps as an employer that you can take to help improve the overall health of your employees. If your business is suffering from these issues it could affect more than your workers' comps claims. It could be affecting your overall productivity.
Consider implementing an employee wellness program. It can start small. Instead of having vending machines with sodas and sugary snacks, consider offering bowls of fresh fruit in the break rooms. Get your employees up and exercising by sponsoring a running group on the weekends or even just encouraging them to take a walk around the workplace during lunch. Make it competitive and give out prizes for the most progress. Everyone is different, so consider offering different kinds of programs to your employees. They could include:
•Wellness Emails or Newsletters
•Health Education Workshops
•Exercise Programs and Fitness Classes
•Giveaways for Progress
•Availability of Healthy Snacks
•Health Risk Screenings
The point of an employee wellness program is just that, to promote employee wellness. It's good for them and it's good for you. Different strategies will work differently for each company. So take the time to evaluate what solutions will work best for you and your business. The key is to make it fun and inspire your employees to live healthier lifestyles.
If you've read my previous article, "Motivate Employees for Maximum Productivity" you know that happy healthy employees can save you quite a bit of money. The cost of higher claims costs because of unhealthy employees is just too significant to ignore when there is something you can do about it for a fraction of the cost. Employee wellness doesn't just impact your claims costs. It can be the difference between a failing and a thriving business.