Focus on Employee Wellness to Increase Work Readiness
SEPTEMBER 5, 2023
Employee well-being plays a critical role in a person’s readiness to work. Employees who struggle physically, financially, or emotionally are less likely to be engaged, take more sick days, spend more work time focused on personal issues, have higher medical costs, and have higher turnover rates. Recognizing and prioritizing your employees’ interconnected wellness needs can increase employee satisfaction and engagement, and help your workforce thrive.
In this article, we’ll examine the impact of employees’ physical, mental, and financial health on the workplace and how your organization can benefit from USI’s CORE Health Strategy to increase work readiness.
USI Insurance Services’ CORE Health Strategy helps employers take a holistic approach to employee well-being, providing guidance and resources to address the physical, emotional and financial needs of their staff.
CORE stands for:
Connect – Helping employers connect all members to the primary care physician.
Options – Identifying the next-generation options for our clients.
Resources – Connecting clients with the appropriate carrier or vendor resources.
Evaluate – Helping clients evaluate the data to determine where there are opportunities for improvement.
Physical Health – Good physical health is known to lower the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, and helps reduce anxiety and depression. Preventive care is a staple of good physical health, yet based on USI’s client data, only 20% to 30% of the population engages with a primary care physician annually — often missing critical health screenings when the costs to intervene are low. For some employers, 50% of catastrophic claims are tied to individuals who have not had a preventive care visit in the prior 12 months.
Promoting good physical health — including diet and exercise, regular engagement with a primary care physician, and age- and gender-appropriate screenings — can help improve your employees’ health outcomes and reduce the overall cost of care.
USI’s CORE Health Strategy helps employers reduce the impact of catastrophic claims on health plan expenses by promoting preventive care and targeted disease management. Connecting plan members with a primary care physician is a foundational component. This has been shown to improve the early detection of potentially high-cost conditions and reduce non-urgent emergency room visits and in-patient hospital stays. By increasing the use of lower-cost preventive care, USI helps clients save 3% to 5% on annual healthcare premiums.
Behavioral Health – One in five American adults is estimated to have a behavioral health condition, including depression. According to USI’s client data, approximately one-third of those individuals are not receiving behavioral health support from a clinician. Poor mental health is a known contributor to increased time away from work and lower productivity. The World Health Organization estimates $1 trillion in lost productivity in the U.S. alone related to depression.1 Poor mental health can also affect physical health and is known to drive up the cost of care for certain chronic conditions by 35% to 100%.2
Increasing awareness of behavioral health and available resources, as well as screening for conditions like depression during preventive care visits, can help undiagnosed plan members access the care they need. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine, has recommended including depression screenings as part of the preventive care visit.
USI is incorporating those recommended screenings into our CORE Health Strategy to help plan members get the care they need. USI can also help employers review current access to these critical resources and evaluate the spectrum of support services available.
Financial Health – Financial well-being is often overlooked but profoundly affects an employee's overall happiness and performance. Fifty-seven percent of working Americans say finances are the top cause of stress in their lives, which can negatively impact sleep, self-esteem, relationships at home, and mental and physical health.
Financial stress can also adversely affect the workplace. Roughly half of employees who report financial stress admit to spending three hours or more per week at work dealing with, or distracted by, personal finances. They are also twice as likely to look for a new job.3 Providing employees with financial planning resources can help them better manage personal finances, work toward financial goals, and feel less stressed about money and retirement.
Recognizing the connection between financial wellness and physical and mental health, USI is further enhancing our CORE Health Strategy by introducing a financial wellness component. USI consultants examine how employees’ finances affect their stress, savings, ability to manage debt and household expenses, and capacity to cover unexpected expenses. We also look at any current strategies employees may already be using to manage their personal finances. Using this assessment, USI works with employers to close the gaps in their financial wellness offerings, and helps select vendors that can address a variety of needs — from educational resources to personalized action plans and access to certified financial planners.
How USI Can Help
Leveraging our CORE Health strategy, USI’s Population Health Management consultants can help employers develop a comprehensive wellness program — incorporating effective contribution modeling, meaningful incentive programs, regulatory compliance, vendor selection and implementation, and targeted communications — designed to increase engagement and improve employee satisfaction.
By ensuring employees have access to preventive care, including screening for depression, as well as behavioral health and financial planning resources, employers can significantly improve employee satisfaction, resulting in:
Increased engagement and productivity.
Lower overall costs of care.
Investing in your employees’ well-being can help create a positive work environment that encourages growth, innovation, and a shared sense of purpose. Contact your local USI benefits consultant or email email@example.com to learn more about this and other solutions designed to address employee wellness and improve work readiness.