Positive Thinking Informs Health Coaching, Corporate Wellness

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

In this week’s HIN Business Weekly Update:

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but so may a few minutes of audio. In this week’s podcast, hear how a dose of positive psychology enhances a live health coaching session with a female struggling with hypertension. Also, Roger Reed of Gordian Health Solutions paints a picture of a great health coach, and a study shows that corporate America isn’t giving up on wellness even as evidence of ROI eludes them. Corporate wellness should target the frighteningly high numbers of drug users and heavy alcohol users in the workplace posing a serious threat to worker safety and productivity, according to a new SAMHSA study.

Nearly 200 healthcare organizations have already taken our e-survey on unnecessary emergency department utilization. Complete the survey by July 31 and get a free summary of the results.

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One Response to “Positive Thinking Informs Health Coaching, Corporate Wellness”

  1. William McPeck says:

    In today’s fast paced, information rich, if not overloaded, environment, people tend to read the highlights and think they understand or get it. That is why I have to take strong exception to Patricia’s portrayal that ROI evidence still eludes corporate America. Patricia’s statement is probably based on the unforunate subtitle “Return on Investment Still an Important but Unanswered Question” contained in the ERIC/ERISA press release of June 21st because this subtitle could not be further from the truth. Research by Ron Goetzel, Dee Eddington and Larry Chapman, among others, has demonstrated time and again that worksite based health and wellness programs consistently return a positive ROI up to 6:1 depending upon the program’s elements and structure.

    I think the elusive ROI statement misses the really good news contained within the press release, which could have been the focus of Patricia’s statement. The good news is that:

    1. “Three-quarters of employers surveyed offer health management programs to their employees, and of those companies offering these programs, two-thirds encourage their employees to participate with incentives.”
    2. “The most common incentive offered across health management programs is premium reductions, with 40 percent of companies using these as incentives. A strong second is cash or bonuses, offered by 29 percent of companies.” Of all available incentives, the literature has identified these two as being the strongest and most successful in driving program participation.
    3. “Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of companies offering incentives had not attempted to measure ROI for their programs.” Depending upon the type of ROI measure selected, establishing a cause-effect relationship can be quite expensive. I am encouraged that 62% of the respondents are using incentives without, apparently feeling the need to do ROI type evaluations.

    Since we know worksite health promotion works, thanks to the some 60 studies already published, why do we need to continue to spend money continuing to prove the point? Let’s put that money back into benefits and/or services or even better, new research regarding employee motivation and behavior change.

    William McPeck
    Worksite Wellness Professional
    Maine