Business Communications Routine Emails and Persuasive Memos Essay

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¶ … Zachary Evans, Vice President of Operations

Joseph Mirola, Claims Manager


Healthy Employees Program

In preparation for your upcoming report to the President, CEO and Board of Directors for Rocky Mountain Mutual, I have prepared a report outlining several reasons that support the idea of retaining the Fitness Center and expanding a Healthy Employees Initiative within our company. Based on the data collected, as well as national statistics, we will show that not only is the program a success for moral and health related reasons; it is clearly a program that boosts productivity.

On June 22, 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order to promote fitness in the schools and workplace and has proclaimed May as "National Physical Fitness and Sports Month." The Executive Order states a presidential request that "Americans work toward meeting the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans as set by the Department of Health and Human Services." By implementing Healthy Employees Initiative Program (HEIP) within our organization we can provide our employees an incentive to join with other Americans to participate in healthy physical activity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition (Executive Order on Physical Fitness, 2010).

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The United States in the 21st century is, in fact, not a healthy nation, nor does medical care or coverage necessarily produce health. Studies from such diverse groups as the Rand Corporation, the National Institute of Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the New England Journal of Medicine have all come to the same conclusion. Indeed, it is alarming to note that the trend toward obesity has exponentially risen in every single region of the United States since 1991, as reported by the "Get America Fit Foundation" (Obesity Related Statistics in America, 2008).

Essay on Business Communications Routine Emails and Persuasive Memos Assignment

We are living longer, but as we age we are prone to more healthcare issues than ever and there remains three killers looming on the horizon: heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Ironically, if obesity could be cured or mitigated, we would see a significant decrease in the other two and a more robust and healthy population. Costs are rising so drastically that estimated expenditures on health care just related to obesity range from $87 million (Wyoming) to over $7.7 billion (California). Medicare expenditures run into the billions, driven by demographics, population characteristics, and what, if any, significant exercise and health initiatives are in place (Get Fit America). Indeed the cost burden is excessive to states, the Federal Government, and to society. For instance, when looking at just the direct costs from the five major health risks for people who are obese, we find an average of over $135 billion dollars (Unhealthy America, 2006).

It was really not until the 1970s in the United States when employees began to develop executive fitness programs to help keep their top management in good shape. This, however, was more of an insurance program to avoid premature death of key executives and the use of fitness programs as a perk to help recruit and retain top talent. As evidence grew showing the positive health outcomes experienced by executives and the related cost benefits to the companies' expenditures, health promotion program were teamed with general wellness programs and extended to the entire workforce (Reardon, 1998).

Over the past thirty years, though, strong evidence has been presented that work site health prevention programs can be a vital part of improving employee health behaviors and health status, increase morale, job satisfaction, quality of life -- both on and off the job, and improve productivity. With the spiraling costs of healthcare threatening to encroach on employee benefit packages and a diminishing rate of return even for successful companies, it is in their best interests to define and implement as many cost-savings programs as possible (Education, 2010). For example, in one study, a random sample of employees was studied to determine differences among health care costs and abseneeism among those who participated in a regular exercise program and those who did not. This was done in conjunction with the start-up of an employee wellness program. The findings were as expected; exercise was associated with decreased illness absences by about 30%, along with a trend for illness related absences to be inversely related to advancing age groups. Conversely, illness absences increased among those who didn't exercise. Total health care costs among exercisers during the study period decreased by over 40%. Over time, with continual dedication and participation, these figures are expected to increase, saving a company a great deal of lost production and health care related expenditures (Baun, Nernacki and Tsai, 1986).

What happens, then, to employees who are part of a company-wide health maintenance program. First, there is increased physical activity which improves several bodily functions. Second, the weight loss and improved uptake of insulin reduces inflamation. Third, the reduction of weight reduces stress on the bones, reducing arthtitis issues. Fourth, a combination of a healthy diet and a reduction in weight significantly reduces Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, and heart disease (Carnethon and Craft, 2008). In our own company, since the Wellness program began, productivity in the Claims Department has risen almost 20 per cent, sick days and absenteeism have decreased by five percent, and morale is considerably improved.

In broad overview, we have seen some visible benefits to a health program in the workplace. However, there are larger, more philosophical justifications for such programs as well. is based on the outcome -- or, "the ends justify the means" (Robinson and Groves, 2003). In the healthcare debate, the utilitarian approach, or morality based on rational thought and the direction most humans innately want. (Kamm, 2007).

Of course, the utilitarian approach to healthcare is far broader than our topic, but taking the approach that: a) an HEIP program saves healthcare dollars out of both the business and personal side, thus benefiting both and society at large; b) Healthier workers mean healthier workplaces, greater sensitivity to individual needs, and a greater spirit of empathy for those around it; c) if overall health costs are reversed, more fiscal dollars can be spent on needed research focusing on genetic, instead of environmental, disease; d) a healthier population is a more vibrant population, a population that is more active, energized; e) Greater attention to health care at work will increase productivity, also reducing costs, to the point in which there will be greater and more job satisfaction and greater productivity.

By retaining our Fitness Center and enhancing our Healthy Employees initiatives, we can provide our employees an incentive to join with other Americans to participate in healthy physical activity, fitness, and good nutrition. It has been proven through other agency programs that there were significant improvements in employee morale, reduction in absenteeism, reduced health care expenditures, and a reduction in stress levels. Finally, employees have better attitudes and appreciate an employer that demonstrates concern for their health and well-being. This will help with our recruitment efforts as well as retain our most valuable assets, our employees.

Part 2 -- Persuasive Memo

Possibly one of the most dangerous jobs surrounding my work location is a former position I held within the Food Service Industry. The food service team is responsible for meals for every member of the camp here in Iraq that uses the dining facilities (Chow Hall). Their responsibility is to prepare four meals per day following the military safety guidelines for safe and healthy food preparation. One way the safety of this organization could be improved would be the robust implementation of a solid HACCP program.

HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points. This system, developed by the Pillsbury Corporation for NASA astronauts, ensures food safety in challenging environments. Essentially, the standards look at each segment in the food production process, identify challenges and potential safety hazards, and then take steps to mitigate the situation. Due to media attention, as well as increased literacy regarding health information, people demand a more sanitary environment in which they are confident their food is safe and free of contamination (Connally, 2009).

The HACCP plan forms the basis of the Food Safety Program and is a proactive method in Food Safety using Seven Principles. The Seven Principles of HACCP are:

1. Looking at the process from the beginning to the end and identify the potential biological, physical and chemical hazards.

2. Identifying points in the operation where hazards are able to be controlled (Critical Control Points) so as to reduce the hazard to an acceptable level.

3. Putting in place critical limits (i.e. temperature range) for the Critical Control Points.

4. Monitoring the Critical Control Points to make sure they are effective in minimizing hazards.

5. Putting in place corrective actions to be taken when the monitoring procedures show that the critical limits have not been met.

6. Keeping written records of the HACCP Program.

7. Regularly reviewing the HACCP Program and check that the system is working effectively through internal and/or external audits (a complete guide to HACCP food safety, 2009).

A good food safety program… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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