Employee health and wellness programs have become more popular in the past several years for a variety of reasons.
Employee health and wellness programs have become more popular in the past several years for a variety of reasons. For one, these initiatives have been found to improve engagement and morale among staff members, often leading to higher retention rates, fewer medical expenses or leaves of absence and other substantial benefits for the average employee.
Additionally, these programs have been found to boost productivity and efficiency on a daily basis. At the end of the day, employee wellness programs can go a long way in driving performance improvements across an organization. However, businesses must ensure that they are structuring these initiatives properly to not only yield optimal outcomes, but also protect themselves from potential issues that arise from mismanagement.
A call to action
NJBiz recently sat down with Kathie Caminiti, an attorney at Fisher and Phillips that specializes in national employment law, to discuss some of the dangers that come with an errantly crafted or misguided employee wellness program. According to the news provider, many employers have launched wellness programs in the past few years to take advantage of Affordable Care Act-generated financial incentives.
The source noted that smaller businesses have thus far struggled to comply with federal laws that require discretion in employee health information sharing and visibility, as well as other challenges. Caminiti explained that the individuals in charge of managing the various types of employee data related to medical histories and general health will need guidelines and tools to protect the privacy of participating staff members.
Furthermore, NJBiz cited the attorney's comments on the overarching demands of a wellness program.
"The major takeaway on wellness programs is there has to be a plan, it needs to be in writing and the alternative standards should be carefully considered," she told the news provider. "There are great benefits, but there are also some land mines that come up in these programs that employers should be aware of."
More reason to leverage professional services
Businesses that deploy employee health and wellness programs often do so to better the livelihoods of their staff members and improve the overall workplace experience. As such, winging it or taking a half-hearted approach will virtually never yield the optimal outcomes.
By using a provider of employee wellness program services, decision-makers will be able to rest assured that the initiative is being managed and operated properly, benefiting both the organization and its workforce to the highest degree.