Jane Wang

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How To Handle Escalating  Employee Health Benefit Costs

Posted by Jane Wang on December 13, 2016

Employee benefits in the workplace are becoming increasingly costly for employers in North America. In the US, according to the 2015 Kaiser and HRET surveyThe average premium for single coverage is $521 per month, or $6,251 per year. The average premium for family coverage is $1,462 per month or $17,545 per year. Based on the Conference Board of Canada’s latest benefits benchmarking report, the average cost of providing employee benefits is $8,330 per full-time employee. For the average company, this equates to spending approximately 10% of gross annual payroll. Businesses are experiencing the reality of the aging workforce, and burden on their profitability from the continuously rising health premiums, cases of stress leave as well as increased absenteeism from their employee population. Year after year, CFOs continue to see increased business costs as the result of poor employee health and habits, but some are reluctant to revisit the funding and strategy of current health and wellness programs because most wellness programs cannot report ROI.

 

This is changing.  More data-driven and evidence-based wellness programs like Optimity are able to provide sound financial analysis for the reasons driving these changes in business costs, as a direct results of strategic wellness programs. A strong business case can now be made to invest in proactive health programs. The ROI can be realized quickly and certainly for these cost-effective, digital-first programs that support the employees in making smarter choices everyday, because it always leads to better health outcomes. Innovative and employee-centric businesses who are changing their processes and opting into data-driven and evidence-based wellness programs, are benefiting both from a happy shift in culture (which helps their HR department recruit and retain talent easier), and are saving up to $6.50 for every $1 spent on wellness by implementing a sound cost-containment strategy that flattens the year over year cost increases of their employee benefits costs. 

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Topics: roi

Holistic Wellness Apps and Behavioral Change

Posted by Jane Wang on December 6, 2016

We all know that mobile applications (apps) have the potential to help people increase their physical activity, but little is known about the behavior change techniques marketed in these apps. 

The majority of apps available today incorporate fewer than four behavior change techniques...

 

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Topics: Wellness trends, Habit, Corporate Wellness, partnerships

Optimity and Excellence Canada

Posted by Jane Wang on November 15, 2016

Optimity is delighted to announce that it is working with Excellence Canada to provide followers of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® with first-hand experience using our rewards-based wellness initiative through a free trial.

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Topics: Wellness trends, Habit, Corporate Wellness, partnerships

The Power of Small Habits

Posted by Jane Wang on November 2, 2016

 In our busy work life we can often get so worked up and focused on taking enormous actions in order to achieve our goals, but research shows that taking small, measurable changes that slowly build up to bigger goals can actually be easier, and more beneficial in the long run.

 

Small changes are easier to adopt and they shift the dynamic of our ability and motivation to be able to embark on a challenging journey. Small wins also help you feel like you’re accomplishing something, whether as focusing on larger goals tends to feel like you are fighting a never ending battle. This is why small changes and wins are so important, because they give us that motivation to keep going and working towards those bigger goals.

 

Here are 3 tips on how to start creating positive habits:

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Topics: Wellness trends, Best Practice, Habit, Corporate Wellness

7 Benefits of Technology in Wellness Programs

Posted by Jane Wang on October 26, 2016

 

Technology surrounds us in our everyday life – it’s always changing, and workplace wellness is soon to be revolutionized by this. Where programs that are only in-person or web-based with no mobile access, or rely on substandard self-reported tracking methods, will never be able to truly impact the work-life habits of most of their employees.

Employees these days are using smartphones, wearable devices and mobile apps and it’s fair to say that almost every one of those smartphone users has downloaded at least one health or wellness related app, so why not one that has incentives and connects them to their company culture?

Accessibility and personalization is the key to designing a highly engaging program. Technology and daily wellness practices can complement each other greatly. For a workplace wellness program to be successful, and to have a real ROI, it needs to incorporate up-to-date technology. 

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Topics: roi

Understanding the Numbers Game - The Real ROI Story for Engagement and Wellness Programs

Posted by Jane Wang on September 13, 2016

Unhealthy and disengaged employees are costing North American businesses a whopping $1,100,000,000 per year. Smart organizations are looking to wellness and engagement programs to change their costs, with the average corporate wellness program averaging at $700 per year. But the average participation rates for these programs are below 30%: many organization have little to no tracking of metrics or ROI. This often has people questioning whether wellness programs actually deliver returns, but the real question you should be asking is what type of wellness programs can reduce claims and lower insurance premiums.

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Topics: Health cost, Wellness trends, roi, Employee Engagement, Best Practice

The Trillion Dollar Price Tag on an Unhealthy Workplace

Posted by Jane Wang on August 1, 2016

If serious health risks caused by stress, poor diet and lack of exercise aren’t enough to make a case for the dangers of an unhealthy work environment, how about 1.1 trillion dollars?  

According to the Milken Institute, studies show that unhealthy workers cost North American employers approximately that much in lost productivity every year.  Sure, a job well done often requires sacrifice - extra hours, sometimes skipping meals, rearranging the exercise routine – but at what point does that sacrifice become counterproductive?

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Topics: Health cost, Wellness trends

Tips to Optimize Your Energy for Long-Term Success

Posted by Jane Wang on May 1, 2016

With a thousand things to do this year, only a few can generate extra time for you. So let’s make them count!

Optimize for Productivity


We can make time by planning, but we also need to do more with our hours. When you are faced with 101 things to do in a day, productivity and streamlining processes becomes essential. One way to optimize productivity is to use routines and create habits.

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Topics: Wellness trends, Tips, benefits, Energy Project

A Long Look at Office Well-being

Posted by Jane Wang on April 28, 2016

Managing work life and personal life is a continuous struggle for most professionals. It is especially apparent in the professional services industry. When you are in a client-facing position, where billable hours dictate your performance and compensation, it is not always an easy task to juggle work assignments and personal issues at the same time.
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Topics: Wellness trends, HR, Best Practice, Case Study

The State of Affairs with Engagement for Corporate Wellness Programs

Posted by Jane Wang on April 14, 2016

Your people are your corporate competitive advantage. Most progressive leaders are actively investing in employee wellness. However, despite the amount of work that goes into implementing on-site and digital wellness programs, most corporate initiatives fail to engage 3 out of 4 employees. Let's spend a little time dissecting what is happening and offer some food for thought.

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Topics: Wellness trends, Employee Engagement