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5 Ways to Engage Employees in Your Wellness Program

5 Ways to Engage Employees in Your Wellness Program

More and more, public sector employers are investing in wellness programs hoping to slow down health insurance premium escalation. A healthier workforce can lead to a reduction in claims, fewer absences and their related costs, and improved productivity. But how do you get employees engaged in your wellness program?

Here are 5 ways schools, cities, and counties engage employees in wellness programs:

  1. Form a Wellness Committee comprised of employees and administrators to represent all levels of the organization.
    • Peer level influencers: Find those who will encourage their fellow employees to participate and get them involved.
  2. Communicate often – focusing on topics that are timely. Provide educational sessions where you can explore topics such as healthy aging, financial wellness, and nutrition/weight management education.
    • Informative posters, flyers, and wellness emails/newsletters that can be rotated with various topics throughout the year.
  3. Ask your consultant to pull claims analytics, then customize your programs around the specific needs of your employees. For example:
    • If emergency room claims are high, create some posters and send emails focusing on how to choose the appropriate level of care. If you are self-funded, increase your ER co-pay and lower it for Urgent Care.
    • If mental health claims are high, promote the use of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to catch problems early before they become serious.
    • If you find that chronic illness is a problem, look into a disease management program.
  4. Find or create events such as runs or walks that are specific to your school, city, or county. Include options where the employee’s entire family can participate.
  5. Get leadership support. Studies show that higher level administration participation in wellness related events increases overall employee engagement.


Download our "Guide to Insurance Committees for Public Sector Organizations"

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Employee Benefits Consultant for National Insurance Services, has his energy level permanently set at “high.” His maxim is “work hard, play hard." In addition to coaching youth basketball and his relentless addiction to volunteering, Steve’s community service and political activities make him an expert in stirring the groundswell and getting groups of people working together for a higher cause. Minnesota schools, cities, and counties rely on Steve’s unique and creative ideas of engaging employees in their own health and wellness to lower utilization trends. He has a background in the health insurance field doing compliance, cost mitigation, utilization, analytics, wellness plans, and strategic planning. Steve is a licensed insurance agent and is Medicare Certified. He holds the designations for Managed Healthcare Professional (The Health Insurance Association of America), Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (National Association of Health Underwriters), and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (Hartford School of Insurance). Steve is a member of the Minnesota Assocation of Health Underwriters (MAHU). He specializes in Employee Benefits Consulting for Minnesota schools, cities, and counties including fully insured, self-insured, and stop-loss plans.