5 Simple Preventive Measures to Reduce Corporate Healthcare Costs
Employees are the driving force behind every business. By taking good care of their health and wellness, they will certainly take care of your business and customers. This is an article written to share some useful tips for SMEs and HR practitioners to stretch their healthcare dollars. A win-win cost sensitive approach for business and employees.
#1 — Vaccinate Against Influenza
Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a contagious virus because it can spread easily via droplets from person-to-person, especially and someone with the virus sneezes, coughs or talk. Taking a flu shot could be helpful in fighting off the virus and make employees less susceptible to flu infection. Most importantly, influenza vaccination is affordable and accessible which will help stretch corporate healthcare dollars. You can have it arranged at your premises (larger headcount) or have it done at a medical clinic.
Benefits of corporate vaccination (influenza):
1) Reduce influenza-related hospitalisation and death
2) Protect those who are more susceptible to complications
3) Increase herd immunity in the community to increase protection
4) Enhance protection and prevent transmission of the virus
5) Lower the number of doctor visits and medical leave due to flu
#2 — Adopt General Health Screening for Employees
Health screening is an important exercise to assess employees’ health status and implement plans to maintain or improve their health thereafter. It allow employees to identify their health risks and take precautionary measures against any major ailments and diseases. If anyone is being diagnosed with chronic disease, health screening will help them monitor their progress and keep track of their current health status. HR or employers can also take the opportunity to understand the overview of their employees’ health status and implement relevant health intervention programmes to keep their employees healthy. Preventive care management is much more cost effective than medical treatments.
Basic health screening measures:
1) Height & weight
3) Blood pressure (Hypertension)
4) Fasting glucose (Diabetes)
5) Fasting lipids (Hyperlipidemia)
#3 — Embark on Corporate Wellness and Healthcare Programme
Corporate wellness is an important part of corporate healthcare essential to boost employees’ productivity. This is because employees spend most of their day time creating value for the company and may have neglected on their general health and well-being. Some of the initiatives such as physical activities, nutritional label literacy classes and mental wellness lessons will enhance employees’ awareness about their current health conditions and encourage them to make informed choices. If the programme is well managed, it can reduce medical outpatient visits as they become healthier and play a more active role in managing their own health and lifestyle. They will be much more motivated to work for a company that takes good care of them and will likely go the extra mile for the business.
Common corporate wellness and healthcare programmes:
1) Weight management programme
2) Smoking cessation programme
4) Mental wellness programme
#4 — Implement Workplace Hygiene and Sanitation Practices
Introducing a good workplace hygiene and sanitation practice, on top of corporate medical package, is one of the easiest ways to keep employees happy and healthy. It is to safeguard their health and reduce the spread of diseases. Furthermore, by ensuring excellent workplace hygiene and sanitation, it reflects directly on the corporate core values. Employees will be happier and more productive if the workplace where they perform their day-to-day activities is clean and hygienic. They will be healthier if the workplace does not transmit diseases.
Ways to promote workplace hygiene and sanitation:
1) Cultivate a culture of donning a mask when feeling unwell to prevent virus from spreading
2) Clean the workstation and restrooms frequently to prevent germs and bacteria from manifesting
3) Install hand sanitiser along common corridor to allow employees to step-up personal hygiene
4) Service the air-conditioner regularly to remove allergens and dust trapped in the filter
5) Provide anti-bacteria hand soap in restrooms and washing bay to eliminate bacteria in the workplace.
#5 — Reward Employees for Staying Fit and Healthy
Rewarding employees with both monetary and non-monetary reward may serve as an incentive for employees to keep fit and stay healthy. Besides, it might even save the company more money. There are many ways to implement corporate healthcare and one of which, is through flexible benefit plan. Employees can either take control of their healthcare budget, or simply rely on their company for their healthcare needs. For the former, employees can get to keep their unspent health dollars allocated to their account. For the latter, companies can allocate reward based on their health and medical track record. This can also be bundled up as an employee benefit package, to be part of their employment contract for employees.
Type of reward methods to encourage employees to stay fit and healthy:
1) Flexible benefit programme
2) IPPT dollar-for-dollar reward
3) Hall of fame board/ health ambassador
4) Prize presentation for the health goals achievers
5) Cash incentives