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Frank Jakka, CWP, CPT, Director, Health & Productivity

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Before You Say 'I Do': Why Your Wellness Program Shouldn't Marry Your Carrier

Posted by Frank Jakka, CWP, CPT, Director, Health & Productivity on August 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Before You Say 'I Do': Why Your Wellness Program Shouldn't Marry Your Carrier

For most employers, your wellness program is closely tied to your employee benefits package. Wellness incentives and initiatives, as well as measures of program effectiveness, are typically guided by your benefits plan and claims information.

Insurance carriers are well aware of the relationship between wellness programs and health plan benefits, with almost all providing some type of complimentary preventive health or wellness program design. Wellness program support can come in the form of health education seminars, biometric screenings, flu shots, or even a technology platform.

While we recommend leveraging these carrier offerings (especially those at no cost), we suggest not getting too married to their programs and keeping a maiden program identity. Before becoming too smitten with your carrier, consider putting their proposal on ice (or I.C.E.):

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness

The Evolution of Worksite Wellness Programs

Posted by Frank Jakka, CWP, CPT, Director, Health & Productivity on February 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

What we have learned and where we are going next

Worksite wellness programs are not a new concept. After all, Hershey Foods built a rec center with a swimming pool for employees in the 1930s. But the goal of these programs and the coinciding way of measuring their value has changed over the years. With each generation of employees, employers have reassessed and refined their programs. Looking back on the evolution gives us a better idea of what works and what doesn’t and suggests best practices for moving into the future.

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The Early 1900s – The Beginnings of the Wellness Industry

Before the information age, work was much more physical in nature. Stronger, more physically fit employees could work faster, more efficiently, and longer. Employers realized this and in the early 1900’s, the National Cash Register built an employee gym and instituted twice-daily exercise breaks. In 1911, they added a 325-acre recreation park for its workers.  The goal was clear. Keep the employees physically strong to match the demands of often physical work.

1950 to 1990 – Focus on Overall Health & Safety

Employers in the 50s continued to recognize the value of physically fit employees. Progressive firms like Texas Instruments and Xerox instituted fitness programs. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) were also established during this time. First created to help employees with alcohol addiction, EAP grew to address other work-life issues. In 1970, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was established with an emphasis on preventing accidents and illness. Both EAP and OSHA were aimed at improving productivity and reducing costs.

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Topics: Wellness

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