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Busting the Myths About Corporate Wellness & Safety Programs – They’re No Joke

Corporate Wellness & Safety Programs are essential tools for improving employee health, reducing healthcare costs, and enhancing workplace productivity and safety. However, despite their benefits, many employers fall victim to believing the common myths about them.  In an ironic twist of fate, choosing to believe these common misconceptions is actually costing you! We’re here to debunk the five biggest myths surrounding wellness and safety programs.


Myth #1: Wellness & Safety Programs Don’t Work

Fact: They Aren’t Optimized for Engagement

Do they think these programs are like magical wands? Poof! Suddenly everyone is healthy, safe, stress-free, and doing yoga on their desks. While we wish it were that easy, here’s the fact: they aren’t optimized for engagement.  A company can’t just talk the talk, a successful program requires you to create a culture of wellness within the organization. When employees see that their company values their health, safety and well-being, they are more likely to prioritize their own health, safety and well-being. A well-designed and well-implemented program, along with a culture of wellbeing within an organization, yields tangible results.


Myth #2: There’s a Magic Budget Amount

Fact: It’s Not the Budget, It’s the Program Design

If only there were a secret formula to determine the exact budget and guarantee success.  Sorry folks, there’s no “buy one get one half off,” or “one-size-fits-all,” when it comes to wellness and safety programs, and unfortunately this is where a lot of vendors fall short.  In reality, it’s not the size of the budget that matters, it’s the program design. A successful program design hooks people.  Take parenting for example, if you promise a child a reward for a certain behavior, the expectation is that if the action gets done, the reward follows. The whole principle loses its effectiveness if the reward is deferred to a later date.  Strategic planning, the Hook Method, and a sprinkle of creativity can work wonders, even on a smaller budget.


Myth #3: OSHA Doesn’t Like Safety Incentive Programs

Fact: They Love Programs That Reward Safe Behaviors, On the Spot

It’s a common myth that OSHA doesn’t like safety incentive programs. Busted.  It’s not that OSHA doesn’t like rewarding employees for safe behaviors, OSHA dislikes rewarding for lagging behaviors.  These types of programs encourage what’s known as “bloody pocket syndrome,” aka the non-reporting of injuries.  Instead, reward employees on the spot for safe behaviors.  Using on-the-spot recognition, which inspires healthier, safer habits, companies can reduce workplace accidents and injuries, resulting in lower workers’ compensation claims and insurance costs. With the right program design, safety incentive programs can be a win-win for both employers and employees.


Myth #4: There’s No ROI

Fact: There Are Numerous Opportunities for ROI in Well-Designed Wellness Programs

Wellness & Safety Programs can be a hidden treasure chest of ROI, healthier employees, and cost savings.  The best place to start is healthcare transparency – this can lead to immediate cost savings on care and services, such as prescriptions, imaging, and labs. Employers are reclaiming control over healthcare costs by using reference-based pricing. Let’s take imaging as an example, rather than pay any arbitrary, insurance-industry inflated imaging costs, you can predetermine a rate through a certain imaging center and encourage all employees to get imaging done there (bonus if you incentivize them to do so).  A company can save hundreds on a single patient. Now multiply those cost savings times 3,000 employees.


Myth #5: Employers Have No Control Over Health Costs

Fact: It’s About Knowing Where To Look

It’s true that the U.S. spends more on health care than other nations, especially when it comes to prescription drugs.  However, employers often assume that healthcare costs are a given and that they have no control over them – this leads to missed opportunities to reduce costs.  Reference-based pricing, for instance, is a strategy that sets prices for medical services based on a benchmark price, such as Medicare rates, which can help lower costs. Employers can also negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers to ensure they are getting the best prices for prescription drugs, including specialty drugs. Additionally, some companies look internationally for disease-related drugs that are more cost-effective overseas than in the U.S., which can result in significant cost savings.  It’s about knowing where to look!


Whew, now that we’ve debunked these exhaustingly common myths about Wellness Programs, it’s time to either search for the right platform for you or rethink your current strategy.  This is about creating a healthier, happier, and more engaged workforce, together. Let’s continue to knock down the walls of misconception and welcome a new era of Corporate Wellness & Safety Programs.