In today’s fast-paced work environment, the health and well-being of employees play a pivotal role in the overall success of an organization. Promoting preventative care among your workforce is not just about ensuring a healthy team— it’s also a smart business move. Preventative care can reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and decrease healthcare costs for both employees and employers.
However, getting employees to actively engage in preventative care can be challenging. Many individuals prioritize their work commitments over their health, often leading to preventable health issues. This post will explore the effective strategies to encourage employee engagement in preventative care, fostering a healthier and more productive workforce.
The importance of preventative care
Preventative care is one of the most important aspects of health and wellbeing. Despite this, a 2018 study found that only 8% of U.S. adults age 35 and older received all high priority appropriate clinical preventable care. In 2022, another study found that 51% of U.S. adults have put off medical care in the past year due to costs.
Preventative care is so important because, as the name suggests, its proven to prevent the risk of diseases, disabilities, and even death. While the choice to put off routine medical procedures because of costs is understandable (though unfavorable), people will incur even higher costs in the long run when chronic diseases develop. Chronic diseases don’t just affect those who have them — their employers must bear that burden, too. That’s because employers and employees alike will deal with the higher costs associated with care for chronic diseases. Costs aside, the worse an employee’s health condition is, the harder it will be for them to be productive at work.
Identify trends in claims data
When designing a benefits package, it’s important for employers to know how their employees approach care. A benefits package curated around how employees consume care is crucial in boosting engagement.
Curating a best-fit benefits package requires an understanding of organizational cost drivers. Identifying trends in health care claims gives organizations a clear picture of where most of their healthcare costs are going towards.
There are some common claims data trends across organizations; however, most organizations see differences in the medical issues of their workforce. Medical issues may vary depending on age, industry, and occupation. For example, some organizations may see that their claims data may indicate high spending on care for physical injuries, while others may see high spending on care for illnesses.
Data provides a wealth of insights that businesses can use to make strategic benefits decisions that yield high engagement. That’s why access to data is access to data is crucial…
With the help of benefits technology, employers can access data easily. While all technology houses data, not all platforms allow easy access to it. When looking to gain insights into employee consumption behaviors, it’s crucial to use technology that has dashboards, reporting tools, analytics, and notifications.
Make care engaging
People have a lot going on — between work, family obligations, and social lives — finding time to go for routine care visits is tough. Not to mention how booked physicians offices can get.
Employers can make arranging appointments easier by offering telehealth screenings. Telehealth is revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and with unlimited possibilities, will be a cornerstone in healthcare for years to come.
Another way to encourage employees is to offer them more PTO. Employees may be reluctant to take PTO for routine care visits because they don’t want to use their time off visiting a doctors office. Offering PTO specifically for preventative care visits is a great way to encourage employees to go in for routine checkups.
Employees who don’t understand what their benefits package includes won’t be able to fully utilize it. Educating employees on their benefits equips them with the knowledge needed to schedule visits for screenings.
The delivery of information is also important. When talking about preventative care, use a mix of channels to share information about how employees can use their benefits for routine checkups and screenings.
Encourage employees to educate themselves by equipping them with the tools to do so. For example, benefits technology platforms include self-service functionality where employees can read up and their benefits anytime they need.
Since engagement with preventive care is low, employers should try to make engagement more appealing. Evidence suggests that offering financial incentives brings about change in behaviors, leading to healthier lifestyle choices.
Examples of financial incentives include offering reduced insurance premiums, cash rewards, or gift cards, for employees who engage in preventative care activities. Employers can also implement a points-based system where employees earn rewards for completing wellness tasks.
The key to successful engagement is to make preventative care appealing, convenient, and relevant to employees’ individual needs. By combining these strategies and continuously refining your approach based on feedback, you can create a culture of proactive health management within your organization.