A Harvard Business Review article titled, “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” details how Johnson & Johnson stated that “that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent” (Berry, et al. 2010). Another company reported 57% of employees at a high risk for life threatening (and job-limiting) diseases converted to low risk after a six month program. Aside from the cost of health claims, the cost of losing an employee is up to 400 percent for highly specialized employees, according to LinkedIn, the leading social media connection for business.  Companies are recognizing that keeping and improving the health of employees is bottom line business.

Attrition is lower, according to a study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. Companies with good wellness plans have healthy employees who stay longer. Insurance industry veteran Audrey Tillman writes on the web site for The Institute for Healthcare Consumerism that health care costs comprise 50 percent of employee benefits and the indirect costs of poor health can result in two to three times the health care expense. Companies are finding that 20 percent of their staff are producing 80 percent of their health care expense, so they are employing new measures to bring that high-risk 20 percent into a lower risk category. It seems natural to assume that employees view this effort as a personal benefit, but the inference is not always as clear. Many employees would rather keep their disease than make lifestyle changes that would change their life.

Record scratch. Yes, you heard it right.

Many would rather keep their Diet Coke and french fries than live a healthy and happy life.

The oldest institution teaching mind, body, spirit health to the mainstream community is the Young Men’s Christian Association, commonly known as the YMCA. This organization consistently promotes the effects of food, diet and exercise on individual health and promotes the values of good sportsmanship in all their athletic training. This organization has had a tremendous impact on communities, but this knowledge didn’t reach outside the realm of youth sports until neuroscience began to validate these long held values as something that impacts workplace productivity. Now that science is joining the knowledge community on optimizing the workforce, there is an increased demand for learning and development tactics addressing the whole person.

The high-health-risk employee hears every “let’s move” campaign as a direct affront to their limitations or lack of mobility. USA Today wrote an article on the psychology of obesity states the fact that more than one third of adults are obese and that “the pattern of brain responses in successful weight losers suggests they are restraining their responses to the food cues” (Jayson 2016). The ability to address the emotional motives for overeating are more effective in driving success than guilt motives!

The reason we exist at 360º Life Strategies is to cultivate bigger minds, happier people and greater impact. How? By understanding who we are, how we’re made and how to invest that energy back into the world. We have three workshops in Colorado Springs this summer. Want our workshop in your town or workplace? Schedule a call to talk about it.

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