Workplace Wellness Programs

A health risk appraisal (HRA) questionnaire is a confidential way to learn about the health needs of your employees and what health risks could possibly lie in their future. This will also give them a chance to speak with a qualified licensed professional about these risks or any other questions that they may have.   The confidentiality of an HRA, and any follow-up consultations with a licensed professional, should be emphasized so that your employees will feel comfortable participating in this essential part of your wellness program. Make sure your employees realize that the HRA will be administered and analyzed by a third party.   The use of a HRA can provide benefits to both you and your employees. For your employees, a HRA can arm them with the knowledge of what the major causes of death are for someone of their age and gender, who shares a comparable lifestyle. This will help give them insight on what they can do to lower their risks for these particular health conditions, by taking action early.   For you, the employer, a HRA can help you design your wellness program so that it meets the specific needs of your employee base. Going into a wellness program without this information can lead you to create a program that does not reflect the needs of your employees and will, therefore, likely fail to do any good for your company or the individuals who choose to participate. It is important to know what specific issues the program needs to address, in order to help your employees become healthier people.   A HRA will deal with questions that will help you understand where your employees stand from a health perspective, so that you can set up a program that will benefit them the most. These questions will raise issues such as:     The answers to these questions will tell you, and your employees, what should be focused on during the program and what goals should be reached.   Unfortunately, a program may not be able to focus on every need of each individual. It is important to determine what overall factors affect the majority or a large percentage of your employee base and create your program from there.   Not only will this valuable information help you to implement a wellness program that is geared towards the needs of your employees, but it will also allow you to gain baseline data to compare with in the future. This will give you a way to determine how effective a particular wellness program has been, and give you insight on whether it is beneficial to the company and the employees to continue on the same path.   The use of a HRA is recommended for all employers looking to begin a wellness program, but is especially important in companies that have over 100 employees. It is also recommended that a HRA be administered once a year and that any change in results be used to refine your current wellness program.   Professionally designed HRAs have been proven to help an employer learn where his employees’ needs lie. When used correctly, they have also proved to be a powerful tool in helping a company implement a wellness program that meets its goals and produces happier and healthier employees.   Checklist Overview Use the checklist below to ensure that you have taken the recommended steps provided in this section:  

 

“Establishing Baselines” Checklist

 

__     A health risk appraisal (HRA) questionnaire is a confidential way to learn about the health needs of your employees and what health risks could possibly lie in their future.   __     Make sure your employees realize that the HRA will be completely confidential and that it will be administered and analyzed by a third party.   __     A HRA can arm your employees with the knowledge of what the major causes of death are for someone of their age and gender, who shares a comparable lifestyle.   __     For you, the employer, a HRA can help you design your wellness program so that it meets the specific needs of your employee base.   __     A HRA will deal with questions that will help you understand where your employees stand from a health perspective, so that you can set up a program that will benefit them the most.   __     It is important to determine what overall factors affect the majority or a large percentage of your employee base and create your program from there.   __     A HRA will also allow you to gain baseline data to compare with in the future. This will give you a way to determine how effective the a particular wellness program has been.   __     The use of a HRA is especially important in companies that have over 100 employees.   __     It is recommended that a HRA be administered once a year and that any change in results be used to refine your current wellness program.