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The Best Employee Wellness Initiative

By: Barb Kornowske, PTI Director of Human Resources, PHR

A healthy workforce = a healthy company, but how do you get there?

With the best of intentions in mind, employers are dreaming up wellness initiatives in hopes to lure their workforces into improving health and engagement. However, their employees are not taking the bait. In a 2013 study featured in Forbes*, 86% of employees don’t participate in wellness initiatives. When considering a conversion of your conference room used by 99% of your employees into a yoga studio for only 14% of your employees, doesn’t that make you think twice?

There’s something much bigger than company-driven weight-loss challenges and ping pong tables. Due to the rising cost of health care, the need for employees to have efficient, top-quality, affordable care is now more important than ever before.

At Paper Transport, Inc., we felt the impact on our employees and knew we needed to do something about it. In 2011, we entered into a contract with Prevea Health and established an On-Site Clinic at our Master Fleet location in Green Bay, WI. This On-Site Clinic has yielded incredible benefits:

  • Zero cost to the employee to visit a Nurse Practitioner (NP). See the savings associated with an on-site clinic:
    • Average 15 minute preventative care visit is $125.50; our On-Site Clinic is $0.00 for our employees
    • Average throat culture for strep is $62.75; our On-Site Clinic is $0.00 for our employees
  • Zero cost to employees whose tax dependents also see a NP
  • Ability to see NP within days, rather than weeks for a primary care physician
  • Cost savings to the company’s group plan
  • Flexibility to work with others in their group to see the NP during working hours
  • Reduction in absenteeism associated with minor illnesses that can go untreated by seeing the NP within the same day when the employee is not feeling well
  • Employees can have annual physicals to improve personal health awareness
  • Employees can receive ongoing treatment for chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
  • Lab services at a 40% discount from normal rates
  • Transportation companies can easily manage DOT physicals to ensure compliance

All of the above are at a minimal hourly cost to the employer, but are a huge benefit for the employee and their families. This is one of the best benefits we have given our employees and their families. It encourages us to continue partnering with other businesses in the area to help defray cost and increase hours the NP is working.

Although we have attempted to implement this plan in states such as Florida, Wisconsin is much more progressive in having On-Site Clinics than other states. Our goal is to have a clinic where it makes sense when considering the number of employees at a location. We continue to look for similar programs in other states that may yield the same benefits for our employees.

Meeting the needs of our employees and families continues to be a focus for us. At Paper Transport, Inc., we will continue to invest in our employees and establish a connection between health, wellness, and taking care of the person as a whole. For more information about Paper Transport, Inc., visit www.papertransport.com.

Strauss, Karsten. “Employees Don’t Have Time For Wellness Initiatives – REPORT.” Forbes (2 April 2013).