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Marathon Health Blog

The Impact of Working Too Much

It’s not news that technology allows us to work all the time. The effect is that workdays aren’t limited to “work hours” and the workplace isn’t limited to the office space. Add in a competitive environment where employees want to be seen putting in extra work, and all of a sudden the 60-hour work week becomes standard. However, the brave rebels who limit their hours worked to 49 or less are generally as productive, create better quality work, and are healthier and less stressed than their overworked counterparts. 

It's Time to Make Mental Health in the Workplace Actionable

From HRO Today

Mental Health America
has found that depression ranks among the top three workplace problems for employee assistance professionals, coming in third behind family crisis and stress. Despite this issue, Mental Health America finds that depressed employees often don’t seek treatment due to confidentiality concerns and fears of the affect their diagnosis will have on their job. Ben Congleton, CEO of Olark, made headlines when praising an employee for taking time to focus on her mental health. Building on Congleton’s congenial gesture, senior leadership should ensure that all employees mind their mental well-being and take the time they need to stay healthy. With this in mind, here are three key steps employers can take to make a measurable difference in improving the mental health of their workforce:

  1. Identify a need for mental health services and address those needs. A crucial first step companies can take to assess the health of their workforce is to identify the population in need of assistance—learning who they are, how many there are, and what their pain points are. Sheetz, a privately held convenience store chain, saw the need for integrating mental health services into their healthcare plan after costs for mental healthcare continued to increase. Bill Young, director of total rewards, talent acquisition and risk management at Sheetz, noted that, “three of our top 25 prescriptions relate to behavioral health. It was clear that this needed our attention and that our traditional telephonic EAP solution was underutilized.” Coupling this with the fact that behavioral health was identified as the second leading condition for intervention behind musculoskeletal issues, Sheetz added mental health services as part of their comprehensive onsite health management program in 2014.
  2. Offer a convenient, uplifting way for employees and their families to receive help that eliminates stigma. Nothing is more important than meeting your employees where they are, especially when the issues they are facing are sensitive in nature. After identifying the need for mental health services, Sheetz launched a pilot program to address rising behavioral health concerns and improve overall participation in EAP programs. Confidential, free, onsite counseling was offered on a part-time basis for employees and dependents but quickly turned into a full-time service and later expanded to their distribution facility in North Carolina. By offering convenient and confidential counseling that builds trustworthiness, employees and their families are more receptive to receiving mental healthcare and therefore more likely to be treated than to continue to suffer in silence.
  3. Motivate employees to take stock of their mental health from the top down. Full integration of mental health services via onsite health centers does not come overnight and relies heavily on senior leadership carrying the conversation. As we found with Ben Congleton’s words of encouragement, a personal reminder to take care of your health goes a long way. At Sheetz, employees are also made aware of the mental health program by way of newsletter stories, departmental meetings, lunch-and-learns, and executive support. Leaders like Bill Young will note that, “it is the right thing to do,” but beyond being the right thing to do—these services produce results. Seventy percent of employees require no further referrals after completing prescribed sessions, and the program has contributed to patient satisfaction rates averaging 98 percent overall. Of those needing a referral for more specific treatment, the counselors are able to assist them in providing the appropriate local resources.

An important conversation has started that we cannot afford to let die out and must act upon. By identifying those who need assistance, meeting them at the point of care, and motivating all to see the importance in their mental health starts with those who are willing to lead the conversation for actionable change.

HELP YOUR CLIENTS TAME THE TERRIBLE 10

From BenefitsPro

One of the most overlooked factors of comprehensive benefits plans are programs that help identify and reduce health risks for employees.

Do Your Employees Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices?

By now, it’s become clear to most employers and executives that the health of their employees has a significant impact on productivity, and ultimately, an organization’s bottom line.

How Investing in Employees Can Scale Your Business

When faced with a mandate to grow their business, many CEOs will first look at ways to increase revenue by cutting costs, and health benefits are often a casualty.

Though it might appear to be a prudent decision, in actuality cutting health benefits will hurt an employer’s bottom line in the long run. The best way to grow a business is establishing programs that help employees develop and achieve their optimal health, which will in turn help retain top talent and pay dividends for years to come. 

Multiple Dimensions of Value: How To Boost Employee Productivity With Preventive Health Care

A smart strategy for managing the cost of healthcare includes a strong focus on preventive care. This makes sense on a national level, where one of the key strategies of healthcare reform is removing cost and access barriers to preventive services. It makes particular sense for employee populations, where the improved health of individuals pays off not only in the avoided cost of sick care, but also in improved productivity.

3 Steps to Integrating Wearable Fitness Trackers into Your Corporate Wellness Plan

Fitbit. Garmin. UP by Jawbone. Have you heard of them? These are three of the most popular wearable fitness trackers on the market and experts project that they’re not going anywhere for a while.

Wellness and Health In Relation to Overall Employee Performance

“Health and wellness” is becoming a commonly-heard phrase at businesses and organizations--and for good reason.  As healthcare premium costs continue to escalate for employers, many companies are becoming increasingly interested in preventive care, specifically through implementing onsite health centers.  Marathon Health’s onsite centers can help increase revenue by improving health and wellness and, as a result, drastically decreasing the financial drain of employees who are frequently absent or less-productive due to preventable chronic health conditions.