The Value of Healthy Employees – Fighting Healthcare Costs by Promoting Wellness

Here at UMD Automated we value our employees, and investing in their health and well-being has the added bonus of benefiting our bottom line. To promote employee wellness, we have a health coach that comes in once a month and meets with anyone who would like to meet with him. The conversations remain confidential between coach and employee.

When the idea was first floated to hire a health coach, we were skeptical. It was something we weren’t familiar with, and as with any interruption, we feared the slowdown in production that these meetings could cause.

Luckily, we didn’t listen to that initial skepticism.

It turns out that our employees loved the idea of having a personal health professional to speak with. Many were able to find out things they were always curious about, such as what their blood pressure was. Our coach was able to answer more complicated questions as well, such as “What is the best way to handle a claim dispute?” Over the four and a half years that we’ve had our health coaches, they have given us tips, shared healthy recipes, and helped us run various events, such as weight loss challenges. Our guys love to compete, so that particular initiative was a big hit.

Overall, more than 90% of our employees take the opportunity to speak with the health coach. And those 10-20 minute conversations don’t hinder our production. In fact, the effect is quite the opposite. By keeping employees healthy, we cut down on absenteeism, keeping our production lines running smoothly.

With healthcare costs on the rise, it’s important that businesses take steps to encourage employee wellness, and wellness starts with information. Gaining knowledge empowers people to make small changes that lead to large benefits down the road. And if something does go wrong with an employee’s health, it’s caught and handled early on. Anyone who works in manufacturing knows the benefits of preventative maintenance. It keeps everything running smoothly, and helps avoid unexpected shutdowns. It turns out that the same holds true for people. By investing in the health of our employees, we’ve kept costs down and strengthened our workforce.

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