Term Paper: Wellness Program at Work

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[. . .] (Healey & Walker, 2009).

Should healthy people have to pay Medicare and other health services costs for the health problems of unhealthy people?

If organizations charge an equal premium and deductibles for health services from all their employees including both healthy and unhealthy workers, it will be an unfair thing for all the healthy employees (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007). Reason being, healthy employees can not be made liable for the expenses that organizations incur on awareness programs related to negative effects of smoking, drinking, and unhealthy foods (Krueger, 2007).

Moreover, organizations do not basically arrange health care awareness programs for healthy employees; the target audience or the main cause of arranging such awareness programs is the unhealthy employees who do not leave their habits and cost much higher to their organization than a healthy employee (Bray & Bray, 2009).

As smokers, alcoholics, obese and unhealthy employees avail more services from their employers; therefore they must pay higher premiums for health & medical insurance and workplace health care programs (Healey & Walker, 2009). For instance; a regular smoker who consumes eight cigarettes a day taking five minutes for each cigarette is more exposed to the risks of mouth cancer, lungs cancer, chest cancer, etc.

This increases the health insurance costs for the organization as he is to take medical treatment for his day by day decline health sooner or later (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007). Moreover, such employees waste the precious time of the organization when they smoke at the workplace. Researches reveal that an employee who consumes 3-4 cigarettes during his job wastes almost half an hour daily or 15 hours a month. On the other hand, a non-smoking and physically fit employee can complete a big working assignment in these 15 hours.

Similarly, an employee who daily takes exercise and does not possess any unhealthy habit will not need to avail any type of medical facility from his employer. Such an employee will not be exposed to any type of risks related to mouth or lungs cancer, fatal diseases, or any serious health care issues. It means the organization will have to pay a lower premium to the insurance company for such healthy employee. It will significantly reduce the administrative costs of the business (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007).

After discussing the various drawbacks of unhealthy habits and the consequences which an organization may face due to these unhealthy habits of its employees, it can be said that healthy and physically fit employees should not pay for the health care costs for the unhealthy people (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007). That is, every organization should charge the premiums and deductibles according to the livings habits of its employees. Those who are healthy, fit, and do not possess any unhealthy habit, should be charges much lesser than the unhealthy employees who are more exposed to the risks of serious health problems and issues (Krueger, 2007).

Organizations must realize that it would be quite unfair to charge higher premiums from those employees who are at less risk to earlier death, serious health problem, or any fatal diseases (Krueger, 2007). These healthy employees should not be obligated to pay for the health costs of those who are unhealthy and do not care for their health (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007).

Why does an Organization need a Workplace Health Care and Welfare program?

A workplace welfare program is necessary to create awareness among the unhealthy and unconscious employees about the risks and health problems that may arise due to poor living habits and lifestyles. A well-structured and effectively implemented workplace welfare program brings numerous short-term and long-term benefits for an organization.

The question of why does an organization need to implement a welfare program at its workplace can be explained in the light of the following benefits that can be realized from this implementation;

1. A reduced absenteeism rate of employees that was due to poor health, illness, injury, medical treatment, depression, stress or hospitalization,

2. A significant improvement in individual employee performance once he leaves his unhealthy habits and lifestyles,

3. A strong commitment of employee is developed that encourages him to work actively and whole heartedly for the productivity of the organization,

4. A substantial decrease in the health care costs and medical treatment expenditures,

5. A reduced turnover of the organization; that is, an effective workplace health and welfare program controls over the recruitment, training, and development costs that are incurred for new employees in case unhealthy employees leave the organization due to their health problems, etc.

Do Workplace Health Care and Wellness programs work?

The success of workplace health care and wellness programs mainly depends upon two things. First; formulation of the program on the basis of a careful analysis of the organizational situation, consciousness of the Management, and the commitment of employees towards bringing a change in their life style and living habits, and second; execution of the program in an effective, efficient, and a well-organized manner so that the Management achieves the desired results (Pronk, 2009; Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007).

As far as the question of the effectiveness of these programs is concerned, it is totally up to the employees' interest in attending these programs and following what is advised and transmitted through them. However, to make a workplace welfare program work effectively and give the desired outcomes, it is essential to focus on the following points and act accordingly:

1. Have enough financial resources to support the program:

In the business world, the most important thing in the success of a strategy is the assessment, acquisition, and allocation of financial resources so that the implementation phase is completed within the allocated time frame and achieves the set targets and objectives of the strategy (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007).

As the workplace health care and wellness program is implemented at the organizational level, therefore it needs a heavy investment in the form of training and development costs, workshop sessions fees, expenses on health care promotional campaigns, and the like. A workplace health care and wellness program also causes a slowdown in organizational productivity as the employees have to leave their work to attend the lectures, seminars, workshops, and training sessions.

2. Management's consciousness towards Workplace Health Care and Wellness Program:

Management's consciousness is also important in the effective implementation and success of workplace health care and wellness programs. It must have a positive attitude towards bringing a change in its employees' lives that will ultimately contribute towards its organization's productivity. The Management must be persuaded to approve these programs on regular basis by enlightening it the benefits that can be realized from a successful implementation. The Management must approve a continuous allocation of funds for these programs.

3. Establishing a Health Care and Wellness Program Committee:

After the Management's approval and the acquisition of necessary financial resources, the Human Resource Department should establish a team or committee which will be responsible to implement the Workplace health care and wellness programs in an effective and efficient manner. The Committee should arrange training and development sessions keeping in view the office timings, convenience of the organizational members, and the availability of instructors for these sessions. The Committee should also monitor and evaluate the performance of these programs and take corrective actions that are essential to achieve the strategic objectives (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2007).

4. Continuity and Consistency in the Workplace health care and wellness programs:

Long-term objectives are only achieved if the concerned stakeholders show a consistency and dedication in those objectives. To make the Workplace health care and wellness programs successful, it is essential that employees remain committed towards a Change and the Management always approve the allocation of finance to these programs.

Now whether Health care and wellness programs really work or not can be answered by evaluating each of the aforementioned components of these programs:

1. Objectives of the Workplace Welfare Program:

The first component of a workplace welfare program is the desired goal behind implementing these programs at the workplace. Every company, whether it is a profit motive or social-welfare organization, always wish to achieve an Excellency in its business operations. This Excellency can only be achieved if all the organizational members are working dedicatedly and with full active mind and body.

The objective of a workplace health care and wellness program is to motivate the employees within an organizational setup to adopt a healthy life style and leave all the unhealthy food, refreshment, and living habits (Healey & Zimmerman, 2009). Therefore, a workplace health care and wellness program works effectively if the organizational members are committed towards its goals and really act upon according to the advices and health care tips given in the training sessions, seminars, and workshops.

2. Assessment of the Health Risks and conveying them to the Unhealthy employees:

The effectiveness of workplace health care and wellness program heavily depends upon the tasks… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Wellness Program at Work.  (2011, November 6).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wellness-program-work/7192299

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