By Tim Kolacz
You can control the cost of your Worker’s Comp insurance. No really, you can.
Many companies that I work with, and by “many” I mean all, are concerned about the small fortune they pay every year in Worker’s Comp premiums. “How do I pay less?” is a consistent question asked of me and my staff. There are several ways that you, no matter who you are, can help in controlling the total dollars that go out to the insurance carrier to cover your employees in case of a workplace accident.
In business, you want to spend money on things that make you money. If you could spend money on something that would allow your workers to be absent less, hence be more productive and be able to work longer without getting that “2:30 feeling” at 10am, would you do it?
A straightforward solution is to have your workforce be as healthy as possible.
Implementing a Wellness Program is a great place to start. Wellness programs typically consist of working with your employees to get to change some of their day to day habits that are making them sick, overweight and generally not happy. These programs begin with talking to the employee and understanding their daily habits and working at first with one or two things that are more detrimental and having them buy in on wanting to change them. Once the employee buys in and starts to do these new habits, they will begin to see a change in their mood, their physical appearance or just feel better. Once this happens, getting them to add more good habits is easier than adding that first one.
As they add more habits, their coworkers will also see that they are happier and will want to be part of the happiness brigade. Happiness breeds more happiness. This will then extend into their personal lives outside of work. This is the key to the whole process. If they continue to be happy and have good habits at home, they will keep these habits and when they do these habits for about 5 weeks, it will be difficult for them to stop doing these good habits. And this is where the motivation from the senior management staff will need to become involved. They must keep that motivation going with rewards or recognition as this is essential when starting a new program.
The program should be built specifically for your organization, but it does not have to cost a lot. A wellness program that is custom designed will provide far greater benefits than one your find off the Internet. And when they work well, the Weekend Warriors on your staff will get hurt less when they decide to go full tilt over the weekend on a new exercise or break out the ol’ dirt bike again. The program should focus on education and what is best for each individual. Not everyone is the same, just like your company. When the education is done properly, the employee will take away specific items that they think will work best. Then the individual gets some personal attention and will then be able to implement these habits into their lives, because it makes sense to them.
So, when they are making good healthy choices, the employees will then tend to make good choices while working. They have a greater sense of pride with the workplace because you cared enough about their well-being to put in place a program that helps them in their general life and they didn’t have to pay for it. Remember, not everyone is motivated by money. Most surveys indicate that people will work for less money if they feel part of the company’s long term success. Studies also show that happy employees get hurt less.
So, make them happy and healthy and your bottom line will look the same.