As the cost of healthcare continues to rise and skilled talent is hard to come by, many Montana employers are turning to health and wellness programs as an opportunity to reduce costs, increase employee engagement, and improve people’s lives. Jackie Rainford Corcoran, founder of Core Health in Bozeman, helps companies cultivate thriving workplace cultures.
Here Jackie shares 10 trends captured from the 2016 Workplace Wellness Conference hosted by Montana Association of Health Care Purchasers (MAHCP) in Billings. The keynote presenters are leading experts in their field and the breakout sessions offer further solutions to current issues that are wreaking havoc on the health of our bodies, minds and bottom lines.
By Jackie Rainford Corcoran
1. Addressing Stress
Stress is a primary health concern in the workplace. Providing stress management tools and education is critical to the health of our companies and country. Mental health is on the radar and we are making great strides in removing the stigma around it but it still exists. Check out the website RightDirectionForMe.Com for free resources that bring awareness and solutions to depression and stress in the workplace.
2. Smart Phones
Smart phones are being used as smart tools for health-related behavior change, self-empowerment and access to and understanding of medical records. Check out the awesome app Hello Heart. It allows users to monitor their heart rate and reduce hypertension and heart disease through personalized self-management.
3.Emphasis on Prevention
While studies show that prevention is the key to preserving our health and bottom line, we continue to operate from a model that primarily addresses full blown disease. This is still proving to be a financially irresponsible model.
4. Spending Less for Better Outcomes
America is still spending far more per person on healthcare than any other developing country. Unfortunately, it also has worse outcomes. We must find new and better approaches to bolster a healthier and financially sustainable society.
5. Addressing Poverty
According to Michigan State Medical Officer, Greg Holzman, MD, poverty in America is a fundamental problem. 20 percent of Montana children live in poor families. To support our next generation of workers, we must find ways to address the challenges of poverty.
6. Cultivating a Culture of Health
Every company has a culture whether it’s created intentionally or not. Companies who create a culture of health excel in employee attraction and retention, have lower turnover, less absenteeism/presenteeism and reduced medical claims.
7. Encouraging Healthy Choices
Make the healthy choice the easy choice. Several companies with cafeterias are starting to put a heavy tax on junk foods like sodas and mac and cheese while subsidizing their healthier whole food options. This makes the healthy choice the economically smart choice.
8. Policy Change
The fastest way to shift culture is by enforcing relevant policies. Consider cigarette smoking. We have seen a massive and swift culture shift as policies have made smoking cigarettes in public spaces illegal.
9. Total Well-being
Total well-being, work that provides a sense of purpose and community connection is not only important to the largest work force now in America–the Millennials (generally born between 1985-2005) but even more so to the up and coming Generation Z (born between 2005-2025). I’m grateful they’re bringing us back to sensible core values.
10. Conscious Communication
Conscious communication is a key component to building stronger work forces. Getting clear on goals and vision, encouraging autonomy, speaking kindly and honestly without being passive aggressive and being a good listener keep channels of communication open, reduces stress and builds morale.
If this type of information is of interest to you, I encourage you to visit the site MAHCP.org to register for the 2017 Montana conference. Looking forward to seeing you there next year!
Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach and Consultant, a public speaker and health activist. Contact her at Jackie@CoreHealthMT.Com
About the Publisher: The Montana High Tech Business Alliance is a statewide membership organization made up of more than 300 high tech and manufacturing firms and affiliates. Search for Montana career opportunities at MTHighTech.org/jobs.