As health care costs and the rate of chronic illness continue to grow in the United States, businesses are seeking new ways to encourage healthy behavior among employees. Healthy workers are vital to a productive, efficient, and financially sound workplace. Although workplace wellness programs are on the rise with 67% of U.S. employers offering an option (source), universal criteria for comprehensiveness or completion of these programs does not exist. The basic act of implementing a program does not guarantee significant change when the quality of offered programs is not upheld to any standard. The de Beaumont Foundation believes high standards tied to explicit outcomes are needed to demonstrate impact and encourage broader participation.
Through the Alliance to Make US Healthiest, the de Beaumont Foundation supported the continued development and implementation of HealthLead™, a national accreditation program for workplace wellness programs. HealthLead™ is working to establish guidelines and standards for comprehensive worksite health management and engage employers to expand and improve their current wellness activities. For employees, standards in quality for workplace wellness programs will lead to an improvement in overall health. For employers, accreditation offers the potential of reduced healthcare costs, reduced insurance premiums, increased employee attendance, and more active engagement in the workplace.
Companies are assessed in areas of physical activity, nutrition, job safety, and work/life balance. The assessment is based in tangible, measurable outcomes. Since HealthLead’s creation in 2012, organizations such as Target Corporation, ING DIRECT, Intel, and the Ohio State University have participated in the process.