Identifying and Correcting Wellness’s Big Mistakes
Dr. Charles Bens
Every day, wellness and corporate decision-makers are making huge mistakes regarding employee health, and they don’t even know it. Over 90 percent of these mistakes are not errors of commission, but errors of omission. The following are some classic examples:
- Employers depend on the use of conventional medicine, in spite of the fact that 80 percent of conventional medicine is not backed by good science. This leads to dangerous drug side effects, higher absenteeism, lower productivity, increased health care cost and deteriorating quality of health for many employees. They don’t know that there are safer, more effective and less costly natural alternatives to this failing system.
- Employers think that reducing health benefits is expenditure neutral when in reality it causes a deterioration in employee health and higher health cost in the future. They don’t fully examine costs and benefits when cutting benefits.
- Employers assume that all wellness programs are pretty much the same and do not make any effort to identify the highest quality wellness programs. Sometimes they simply run into something they like and just try it. Wellness business decisions are often lacking good research and fact-driven decisions.
- Employers often consider wellness spending to be frill and not a serious part of their bottom line. In reality, it should be one of the highest priority expenditures because it is so crucial to the bottom line. Wellness investments are often not based on sound business
- Employers do not feel that employees are willing or able to make difficult lifestyle changes. They don’t seem to understand what employees need or want, or are actually willing to do to become healthier.
- Employers may think they are already doing all that they can do on wellness, but they have never done a state of the art analysis or had a true wellness audit performed to measure wellness program efficiency, effectiveness or quality.
- Most employers dismiss natural or functional medicine as a waste of time with little or no science behind it and no proven results. In reality, Functional Medicine is the state of the art in workplace wellness with 400 percent more science, as well as producing cost savings 15 times higher than conventional medicine.
- Employers do not make the connection between their lack of knowledge on this topic and the serious health problems employees are experiencing every day. Over 80 percent of chronic disease is preventable and yet employers are spending less than 5 percent of their health dollars on prevention. Do they realize that they are contributing to the health problems of employees they know and care about?
- Employers somehow believe that less than the optimal effort on wellness gives them a pass on the personal health problems they are helping to create every day for their fellow employees. The lack of vigilance, caring and professionalism regarding wellness is inexcusable.
- Employers rationalize they are only a small part of the wellness problem. They feel that the medical profession, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, or even the employees themselves, bear most of the blame for poor health. However, if you avoid the problem through rationalization, aren’t you still shirking your responsibility?
It is true that there is enough blame to go around for poor health and poor decision making in workplace wellness. However, doesn’t everyone have some responsibility for paying attention to new developments in the field of health and wellness? Of course they do. However, if paradigms shift too slowly, then pain, suffering and unnecessary cost increase more quickly. Please take a few minutes to review the following surveys. The first of the two is on the 10 causes of inadequate wellness programs, and the second is on the 10 solutions. Please determine if you generally agree with these statements.
Anyone who fills out both surveys and sends in the results will get a free lunch and learn session from Healthy at Work.
Free Webinar for Involvement
This is a serious topic and deserves serious attention by wellness and corporate decision makers. That is why Healthy at Work is offering a free one-hour webinar, to address this topic for any wellness or corporate decision-maker who completes these surveys and sends in the results to us. Ten employers with over 20,000 employees have reduced health care cost by 12-15 percent every year and you can learn how to do the same thing. Please forward all completed surveys, with the desired contact person’s name, phone number and email address to:
Dr. Charles Bens [email protected]