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In 2023, People Operations (or HR) leaders face a unique set of challenges, one of which is the continuing rise in obesity-related illnesses and their associated costs. Not only do these challenges include the increasing cost of healthcare and health insurance benefits, but also illness-related absenteeism and the resulting loss in productivity. On the flip side, empowering employees to be their healthiest selves can reduce these down sides for an organization (and the HR team).
One of the big trends we have been hearing about in the HR and Benefits space, is the value of investing in preventive care and wellbeing programs, alongside traditional employee benefits like health/vision/dental insurance, mental health benefits, fertility benefits, etc. The data1 here is clear: by preventing conditions like prediabetes from progressing to diabetes, health care costs would decrease substantially. The humanistic case is also there; helping employees stay healthier is great for them and their families, and frankly, the right thing to do.
Understanding which preventive programs are worth the investment is a challenge for people operations and benefits leaders. We have to make thoughtful trade offs between cost, short-term ROI, long-term ROI, and employee satisfaction. While it would be amazing to wave a magic wand and cover the huge cost of a human wellness coach for every employee who struggles with their weight or is at risk of developing diabetes, it’s just not realistic. .
The good news is that health technology companies like Lark have been developing app-based coaching programs that have clinically equivalent outcomes to human coaches— at a fraction of the cost. In fact, Lark’s app is specifically built to be compassionate and encouraging, and our clinical studies show it2.
When it comes to being more strategic partners to our business, people operations and benefits leaders have the opportunity to shape the conversation around employee wellness, while introducing innovative benefits like Lark to increase employee health and wellbeing. Data3 also shows us that today’s candidates and employees are more likely to consider benefits offerings when deciding where to work and where to keep working, so innovative offerings can help you attract and retain great people.
If you’re interested in learning more about investing more strategically in your employees’ health, and taking your organization’s benefits and people strategy to the next level, give us a shout!