BRAC Monthly Lunch speaker: Employers getting more innovative with wellness offerings

    Employers are investing more into health and wellness innovation, with 75% planning to soon expand their offerings, a health industry expert told a packed room of local businesspeople today at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s monthly luncheon.

    Megan Greenfield, a partner with international management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, discussed national trends around corporate engagement on employee health and well-being, sharing different insights from McKinsey’s 2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

    Employee satisfaction and loyalty increase significantly with the number of wellness programs available, says Greenfield, who advises healthcare and tech companies on revenue growth topics. Moreover, employers find most wellness programs to be anywhere from “somewhat effective” to “very effective” when it comes to enhancing employee engagement, improving productivity and controlling health care costs.

    “The challenge is, how do you get feedback on different cultural components to really get a sense of your company’s ROI?” Greenfield says. “The jury’s still out.”

    In the past year, there has been a jump (from 14% to 32%) in the percentage of “benefit pioneers”—employers who are open to change and new concepts. This rapid growth, says Greenfield, reflects an increased willingness to expand health benefits, such as offering specialized diabetes management programs that utilize mobile monitoring or integrating a pharmacy into the workplace.

    Among other key takeaways: Emotional and mental health offerings are expanding quickly, especially “mindfulness” programs, which are projected for 29% growth in 2020; telemedicine and nicotine cessation programs are the most popular wellness options, but weight, musculoskeletal and infertility programs are poised for fast growth; and tech-enabled products are being adopted across the continuum of care.

    Greenfield’s presentation came after BRAC announced the recipients of its inaugural Capital Region Employee Health Innovation Award, in both the small and large business categories: Labarre Associates and The Lemoine Company, respectively.

    The award—presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana—aims to recognize Baton Rouge area companies that have implemented innovative practices that lead to healthier and more productive workers.

    Labarre Associates was selected for its Go365 program, which offers healthier food options, annual office flu shots, multi-step fitness challenges, financial education and mental health resources. So far, the company reports 90% employee engagement in the program, seeing results such as weight loss, greater energy from workers and increases in teamwork and productivity.

    Meanwhile, The Lemoine Company was chosen for its wellness program, which caters to each employee’s individual needs. Boasting a 99% engagement rate, the program includes monthly and quarterly health challenges, rewards for certain wellness achievements, a nicotine cessation program, health education and workplace policies ranging from healthy meetings to breastfeeding.

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