While popular, workplace wellness programs aren’t targeting those who need it.
The C3LX office sits between Denver and Boulder - cities filled with a high number of athletic, fit, and healthy people. Yes, we employ a great risk pool in one of the healthiest areas of the country. Yet, we build technologies that help people who are at risk or who are already dealing with chronicity. It’s a paradox. Engaging our population is a “nice to do.” Engaging a more serious risk pool is a “must do,” yet many employers are still toying with wellness programs and engaging the already healthy portion of their population. While well-intentioned, there are some key reasons why these workplace wellness programs don’t work, with additional supporting evidence in this article from NPR:
1. Selection bias
Workplace wellness programs attract those who are already healthy. Easy money.
2. Disconnection from healthcare delivery
Programs don’t address risk in partnership with care teams who can actually engage with high risk/high cost populations.
3. Driven by incentives and self-reported results
This type of program breeds errant data and lacks outcome-oriented results. Increasing incentives does not bode well for this critical issue.
Despite these failures in the current wellness programs, there is a critical need to focus on the health of an employee population in a much more comprehensive, integrated, and aligned fashion. Programs need to connect employees, employer investment, population health analytics, focused care teams, and engagement technology. Integrated programs improve the health of employees and reduce direct costs to employers.
There’s a better approach to reaching those who need it most than traditional wellness workplace programs - learn more about what really works.