Toxic workplaces override wellness investments
The health effects of a negative workplace culture and/or environment can be more dangerous than employers recognize. A recent article in Employee Benefit News quotes Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford University professor specializing in organizational behavior, who said a less-than-ideal workplace culture may negate any positive effects from a health or wellness plan.
In remarks at the Great Place to Work conference, Pfeffer told attendees that issues leading to poor employee health—like tobacco use and obesity—are often “consequences of the environments in which [employees] are working.” The irony, of course, is that such issues are some of the biggest targets for wellness programs.
Additionally, Pfeffer noted, an unhealthy workplace might even cause “up to 125,000 employee deaths each year and add up to $130 billion in excess annual company costs.”
Instead of offering only health and wellness programs, Pfeffer said that “a full revamp of workplace culture is also needed.” An environment with less stress and more sustainability could be the key.
Nearly half of employers turning to DC health
Among the many reasons an employer might consider the switch to DC are lower administrative health care costs and more choice and financial freedom for employees.
This week’s hidden gem: Large employers divulge top 10 cost-cutting strategies
Employers tend to be tight-lipped about their best benefits strategies, so it’s refreshing each year to see joint survey results from Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health in which hundreds of large employers offer a sneak peek into their strategies.
Although this year’s results haven’t been released yet, HR Benefits Alert highlights employers’ top strategies from 2013, as well as the ones companies listed as their top strategic goals for this year.
Among this year’s goals: Offering telemedicine programs, implementing reference-based pricing for medical plans and (as the above report suggests) providing access to a private health exchange.