GAITHERSHBURG, Md., Sept. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, told National Business Group on Health Fall Conference attendees last week that health and well-being leaders within an organization should focus on the entire ecosystem for health within a community to garner the highest possible value on their investment. Sodexo, Lincoln Financial Group and Steelcase shared successful strategies for employee engagement in workplace wellness programs in a session titled: The Coach Will See You Now: Innovations in Health Coaching.
While a majority of businesses large and small offer worksite wellness programs, only 13 percent of them provide comprehensive employee wellness programs that include health risk assessment, biometrics and some form of intervention. Given the epidemic of chronic disease in the U.S., with spending on healthcare projected to rise from 18 percent of the GDP to 34 percent by 2040, it is crucial to identify more creative approaches to supporting people who want to take ownership of their health.
In the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham last Wednesday, Nebeyou Abebe, Sodexo senior director of health and well-being, addressed the issue and shared current results of an ongoing three-year initiative aimed at increasing employee (and family) engagement in health and well-being programs through a coordinated, system-based approach. During the session, he emphasized the importance of designing workforce well-being initiatives that enable employees to engage in healthy living programs and activities while at work, at home, and in the community.
"Employers in the U.S. spend over $8 billion annually on employee wellness, yet only a fraction of employees take advantage of these programs," said Abebe. "We need to focus on the entire ecosystem for health within a community to bring about the change we all want to see."
Communities for Health: Your Healthier Workforce initiative is a pilot program designed by Sodexo and the YMCA of Central Florida that harnesses the power of partnership to positively impact the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
The three-year program breaks down into four phases:
- The first phase focuses on enrollment, in which employees at all levels of an organization volunteer to undergo training to become wellness champions and engage their coworkers to consider participation in the program.
- The second phase utilizes population segmentation to identify low-risk, at-risk and high-risk groups within the enrolled members, based on personal health factors.
- The third phase focuses on triaging individuals within each group to appropriate health solutions.
- The fourth and final phase, called lifestyle management, focuses on providing access to YMCA health coaches and Sodexo registered dieticians year-round.
After just one year of the three-year pilot program, the Communities for Health pilot program saw 88 percent of eligible employees enrolled in fitness programs, 67 percent of eligible employees enrolled in weight loss and obesity programs, and 74 percent of eligible employees enrolled in disease management, compared to 21 percent, 11 percent, and 16 percent respectively nationwide according to RAND Health.
The Communities for Health initiative has a strong focus on addressing the social determinants of health and collaborates with strategic local partners to achieve health equity.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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