The business of well-being should be looked at more closely as an economic principal rather than a health issue.  What do I mean?  Let me summarize with two basic macroeconomic principles:

  1. The overall level of growth of income and output in a nation are determined by the interaction of households, firms and governments as they produce, exchange, consume, save and invest. Economic interaction between these sectors typically take place through markets.

Right now the largest growing market in the United States is health care, which accounts for nearly 20% of the gross national product.  Insurance costs are continuing to increase, causing workplaces to reduce their overall insurance benefit and shifting costs to the employees.  As more household incomes must account for health care cost shifts, this demand causes supply to be reduced (need for more primary care physicians) and therefore, costs inflate – sometime in a very greedy way (think Epipen).  But with 70% or more of the costs for health care being lifestyle related, the need for quality wellness programming should be considered a critical element toward workplace expense reduction.  Most companies might be throwing money at the issue, but the programming and strategy selected are not right for your organization.

  1. Real wages and employment are determined by the scarcity of labor and labor’s value in the production of goods.

Scarcity of labor is vital in understanding why the health and well-being of your employees are essential to your employee relations model.   The more times you must run your business short-handed, the less productive you are.  Further, that short-handed situation causes your cost of goods sold to increase, because your labor prices are higher.  Spending just a little on prevention measures and systems that help your employees learn and grow professionally will pay out in reduced absenteeism, turnover and fewer “poor performance” days.

This is the basic business model for well-being.  Have you considered the right economic model to tackle your health care crises at work?  It might just be your strategy and programming needs to be evaluated.