5 Ways Corporate Wellness Programs Lower Diabetes Risk
Corporate wellness programs are designed to drive positive culture change and lower employees’ health risks. And as the industry grows, wellness vendors have become more and more sophisticated about strategies for addressing risk factors and improving outcomes. Below are five ways that corporate wellness programs lower diabetes risk, because a strategic wellness program should absolutely address your population’s biggest health challenges.
Diabetes remains a key health challenge for millions of Americans. The prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes should stay firmly on every wellness vendor’s radar—someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds. Wellness programs can do more than help employees manage the disease—they can also help prevent it.
1. Biometric Screenings
Biometric screenings give participants the opportunity to know their numbers—and when it comes to assessing diabetes risk, numbers are the crucial starting point.
Fasting blood glucose tests alert a participant as to whether their blood sugar is in a normal range, and are part of our fingerstick and venipuncture screenings.
One of our event leads told us a story about a participant who came in for a WCS screening, where he learned that his blood sugar was over 500. He went to the hospital that same day, a decision that may have saved his life.
But screenings can also alert participants to their diabetes risk in less dire circumstances. Often times, a screening appointment is the first opportunity an employee has to learn that they may be at risk and need to pursue lifestyle changes.
2. Health Education
Biometric screening results are a critical first step—but health education is an important follow-up service that empowers employees to address their health status. Even a quick on-site or telephonic health education session right after a screening appointment can provide participants with clarity and jumpstart their journey to reduce their risk or manage their disease.
Diabetes risk management is a long-term process, and successive health coaching sessions can provide participants with the consistent guidance they need to reduce their risk and set appropriate goals tailored to their biometrics and lifestyle. Our health coaches are registered dietitians who are specifically trained to address employees’ emotional, physical, and environmental health. Pre-diabetes and diabetes can be a significant source of stress—and our health coaches’ 360 degree approach can provide significant support.
3. Vibrant Communications Strategy
The power of a wellness program extends far beyond a single event or session. A strong wellness program takes multiple opportunities to communicate with employees—and sustained, quality information can educate employees about diabetes prevention.
Seminars, flyers, and workplace challenges can all be excellent communications tools for diabetes and pre-diabetes. Positive, well-branded materials that show your organization’s investment in providing quality, educational materials can give employees the boost they need to participate in the program and take up healthy behaviors in their personal time. We know that engaging, innovative challenges are effective at building a culture of wellness—particularly around promoting balanced diets and healthy levels of physical activity, two keys to diabetes prevention.
4. Cutting Edge Reporting
A participant’s wellness journey is their own. But an employer can support employees with a wellness program that makes the most sense for that workplace. Corporate wellness programs lower diabetes risk in large part because they can provide meaningful data.
Historical data can show how the biometric screening results—including glucose measurements—for cohorts are changing over time. Aggregate reporting is an incredibly important tool that allows employers to fully understand the risk levels in their employee population. It also allows wellness program managers to strategically tailor a program to that specific population.
5. Partnerships and Innovation
The healthcare and wellness industry is constantly evolving—and staying on top of the latest case studies, data, and research makes sure employees receive best-in-class service when it comes to diabetes prevention and management. For example, we are a channel partner for Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions, which has developed DECIDE, an evidence-based program for ongoing diabetes self-management. The program is specifically designed to help high-risk participants implement practical problem solving skills, and was developed by a professor of medicine and President-Elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association.
In 2017 we also launched the Champion Hub, a brand new platform aimed at helping wellness champions discuss best practices and strategies for promoting wellness offerings at their workplace. For diabetes and other specific health risks, our Champion Hub provides a forum where peers can share ideas for how to engage their workplace, increase participation, and inspire the kind of behavior change that could prevent full-scale diabetes.
Good corporate wellness programs lower diabetes risk by addressing the issue from multiple angles. Talk to your wellness vendor today to learn how to leverage all of the strategies above to make a difference for your employees.
To learn more about how our biometric screenings, health coaching, and comprehensive wellness programming can help employees reduce their health risks and reach their goals, contact our team today!