We were discussing why companies need to start rethinking wellness program benefits. Historically, company execs are concerned about dollar return and bottom line profits when making decisions. While ignoring the long-term benefits, a wellness program creates regarding new ideas. Wellness programs can act as a catalyst for new ideas, creativity and innovation.
There is no argument that a positive return on investment sustains a project. On the hand, returns on innovation are difficult to quantify. Most of the value of designing an innovative centered organization is in the company’s culture. A business pursuit of profits can jeopardize the company’s creative culture. Cost shifting is pitting employers against employees in a fight to save their respective bottom lines.
A Battle for their Financial Bottom lines
Employers and employees are fighting to save their bottom lines, what is good for the company hurts its employees. The average (average hourly wage in U.S. approx. $20) employee needs to work approximately 60 days to pay for the cost of visiting a doctor (including insurance and government subsidies combined). The fact is out of pocket expenses for medical care are rising faster than incomes.
The one option that receives very little acknowledgment is universal healthcare. Everyone paying into the same system, the cost would decrease. Premiums could be adjusted for individuals with lifestyles behaviors that increased or decreased their cost compared to other similar population. Don’t hold your breath; there doesn’t appear to be leadership to drive this idea.
Universal health care could become a catalyst for new ideas. Companies no longer burden by rising healthcare cost strangling their bottom lines would be free to design, create and innovate. American families’ no longer fearing the cost of medical care can focus on entrepreneurial activities.
Rethinking Wellness Program Benefits
Despite the colossal dysfunction that is healthcare in America, MBI’s (Master of Business Innovation) are examining the actual benefits to companies who are concerned for their employee’s well-being. Tech companies have long discovered a link between their employee’s wellness, creative corporate cultures and profits. Employers need to understand how their business performs to meet its innovative challenges. No longer is it prudent to examine outcome measurable related to product revenue. Executive need to understand both enablers and barriers to innovation, what works and what does not.
Employers should view wellness programs beyond healthcare cost savings. Stop focusing on insurance premiums and start thinking about wellness in terms of engagement, productivity and company performance. Companies that score high on employee health and wellness outperform the 500 largest U.S. companies listed on the S&P 500 index by 235% over a 6 year period (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine). Investing and supporting employee wellness benefit both employers and employees.
Focusing on employee wellness leads to an engaged workforce. Employee satisfaction and engagement increase, as reported by IFEBP. In fact, employees who believe their employer care about their well-being work performance increase, they go the extra mile and less likely to quit within the next year. Most companies would take a 10% reduction in unwanted turnover versus a 10% reduction in health care cost.
Is Your Organization an Innovation Leader
How do you prepare your organization to be an innovation leader. An organization’s preparedness to implement new ideas determines the workspace creativity. There are 6 factors you can examine your organization to determine your innovative readiness:
- Open to Innovation
- Leadership is fully engaged in the innovation process
- Management is help accountable for innovated ideas
- Creativity training is offered to every employee including in-house janitorial crews
- Company culture fosters collaboration
- Employee engagement is encouraged possibly incentivized
Americanism too often focuses on the lone genius; it is everyone’s responsibility to design and create. Innovative organizations flow top down, bottom up, outside in and inside out. Innovative cultures understand that ideas can and do come from everywhere.
Physically fit employees create an atmosphere where creativity can grow. Leadership needs to be on board; they must focus on the macro benefits of a wellness program. Through a mix of strategy and systematic discipline, execs can ensure that every employee is engaged in the process. A corporate built to foster new ideas, creativity and innovation is a mindset to embrace and skill set to master.
Transform your MBA’s measurement-heavy analysis toward that of MBI’s eye toward creativity. Become aware that your company’s wellness program is a potential gold mine of new ideas, which can boost the performance of your organization. Companies that have an established innovative culture engage everyone’s creative talents and ideas. These companies experience continuous performance highs, regular source of ideas, engaged employees and loyal customers. Employees who feel their company cares for their well-being literally pay dividends. #ROInnovation
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