American businesses are the largest providers of health coverage in the United States—approximately 148 million Americans receive private-sector employment-based coverage. Although there is no silver bullet for controlling health care costs, workplace wellness programs help improve our nation’s health. These programs take many forms—on-site clinics and fitness centers, chronic disease management, nutrition seminars, and health risk assessments.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in promoting workplace wellness and health programs. It has shared best practices in several publications such as Leading by Example and Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond.
Much conjecture and misunderstanding exist about how well-designed
workplace wellness programs operate. This publication, Winning With Wellness, demystifies health promotion initiatives. Chapter 1 delineates the attributes of successful and effective workplace wellness activities. Chapter 2 reviews how workplace wellness can be a win-win for both employers and employees. Chapter 3 outlines the legal and regulatory parameters businesses should be aware of when designing and implementing these programs.
Small businesses reading this report may, at first blush, think that wellness programs seem very complex and difficult to implement. However, I would like to make it clear that this is not the case. While this publication delves into nuances surrounding health promotion programs, there are many simple steps that small businesses can take to develop their own tailored wellness initiatives. These were laid out by the Chamber in an earlier publication, Workplace Wellness Programs: Promoting Better Health While Controlling Costs, with an online toolkit. There are also other useful resources, which can be found at the end of this publication.
I would like to thank our facilitator, Anne Marie Ludovici-Connolly, for spearheading this publication, and Jessica Coady for providing research support. I would also like to thank Michael Billet, Laurie Frankel, and Walter Mullon on the Chamber team for their hard work and dedication to the project.
The Chamber will continue to champion the importance of workplace wellness programs. The bottom line is that when done right, workplace wellness programs work.
We hope that you join us in our efforts.
Randel K. Johnson
Senior Vice President
Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits
U.S. Chamber of Commerce