EMPLOYERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT rising health care costs and looming federal mandates that penalize companies for unhealthy workers. But corporate executives are unsure how to tie corporate wellness programs into business performance.
Chiropractic physicians are the answer. Cultivate by Standard Process is the conduit to get you there.
“A revolution in chiropractic care is coming to corporations seeking to improve bottom-and top-line performance that will dramatically expand the reach of chiropractic care by bringing chiropractic, nutrition, fitness and education on-site where employees spend much of their day,” says Samuel Sekanick, DC, a Cultivate-certified chiropractor.
Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are perfect intermediaries for businesses seeking cost reductions and productivity gains from healthier employees. What follows are insights into expanding your existing private practice into a corporate environment and demonstrating the value of your expertise.
Monitoring Employee Populations
Different from most corporate wellness offers, Cultivate’s on-site chiropractic-led approach positions you as the central resource. Success derives from the DCs’ ability to provide key elements of an effective wellness program by monitoring the employee population. These include chiropractic care, fitness consulting, nutritional guidance and ongoing health education programs.
“Cultivate supports our core belief that healthy employees form the foundation of successful companies,” says Paul Shekoski, Primex CEO. “The first year with Cultivate exceeded our expectations for employee engagement, participant and overall awareness. We are building a solid foundation from which we can provide employees with individual, proactive healthcare choices which fit their lifestyle.”
In addition to being able to provide health, nutrition and fitness guidance, however, chiropractic-led corporate wellness requires on-site DCs to partner with key corporate functions, such as HR, finance and operations. Together, these areas successfully deliver sustained improvement to employee health factors, drive down injury rates and return workers to their jobs quickly.
Proof of concept is demonstrated in a recent academic review of ten years of employee data from Standard Process, a dietary supplement company. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Medical College of Wisconsin found on-site chiropractic-led corporate wellness demonstrated statistically and clinically significant differences in employee health factors and the reduction of long-term health risks.
Employees reduced factors that contribute to long-term serious health conditions related to safety, cancer and heart health. Participants’ blood pressure, nutrition and stress levels improved, along with better body mass index, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The following results from Standard Process confirm the impact chiropractic-led on-site wellness has had on corporate and manufacturing employees:
● Enrolled wellness participants’ health care costs decreased by 55 percent;
● Program participation grew to 97 percent of employees;
● Short-term disability claims decreased 24 percent;
● Employee turnover rates decreased by 60 percent;
● Retained 93 percent of employees for 14 years or more; and
● Reduced absenteeism rate, which reduces overtime costs;
What DCs Need to Know
DCs who are on-site can transform business culture. You can create change for an entire employee base, which means happier employees and a healthier bottom line. This translates to new career opportunities, security and practice expansion.
All types of companies can benefit from an effective corporate wellness offering. Manufacturers are a good fit because they require more rigorous physical labor from their workforce. Many have minimal wellness offerings, if any, and are very receptive to finding ways to create a healthier work environment.
On the other end of the spectrum, more traditional white-collar companies also benefit from on-site chiropractic-led corporate wellness. Employees in these environments spend the majority of their time at desks. White-collar wellness needs, for example, may revolve around nutritional gaps and a lack of focus on fitness and ergonomics.
The key to success of any corporate wellness program stems from measureable results. Be sure to benchmark each employee’s progress — which entails tracking usage of programs and, more important, employee impact. This second metric takes time but it’s vital to get as much information as possible to ensure the program is working.
Starting a program on your own can be expensive. Cultivate’s on-site certification course can help you overcome this challenge. The coursework involves an MBA-level approach to understanding the corporate environment and what success metrics are important to employers.
Expect on-site opportunities to range from part-time to full-time engagements depending on the size of a company. Some corporations want a program built from the ground up and others want you to complement their existing programs. Flexibility on your part will lead to more opportunities to expand your practice. The following comment from Flambeau, Inc.’s HR director provides insight on how Cultivate’s flexibility works within a company wherever it resides on its wellness journey.
“Flambeau has had its own clinic for over two years, and the addition of Cultivate will add another level of service for our associates,” says Mark Rieland, Flambeau director of HR. “We are excited about the cooperative effort to reduce work-related injuries as well as providing nutritional counseling and chiropractic care.”
Equipment needs vary. Typically, an on-site room for adjustments and individual meetings with employees are required. If possible, an on-site fitness center is beneficial too. If space constraints do not allow for an on-site workout area, consider a partnership with a local gym.
Within a corporate environment, you will address common workplace issues, such as repetitive strain, ergonomics, proper lifting techniques and postural analysis. But you also will have the opportunity to bring structure and insight, overseeing every aspect of a corporate wellness offering.
Position yourself as an intermediary between frontline employees and executive decision-makers. To positively influence a company’s top and bottom line, you must understand and/or establish the following:
● How to function within a corporate environment;
● Legal requirements, including HIPAA regulations;
● Ergonomics in the workplace;
● Contemporary nutrition; and
● Guidelines for patient care.
Momentum is definitely building for on-site chiropractic-led wellness programs. By helping businesses improve employee health factors and achieve productivity gains, DCs create opportunity for practice expansion.
Jerry Curtin is president and general manager of Cultivate by Standard Process. His passion to understand the essence of employee performance has been paramount to his success at General Electric, Eaton Corporation and now Cultivate. It’s also made him a great career human resources leader, executive coach and entrepreneur. He lives by the philosophy that “A business isn’t healthy until its employees are,” and today he leads executives across the country in evaluating the health of their businesses through Cultivate — developing specific solutions to create the right culture for wellness and success.
Don Hundt, DC, leads Cultivate’s practitioner development. He's worked with everyday families, Olympic athletes and everyone in between. He draws on his experiences to breathe new life into the Cultivate curriculum. Currently, he teaches Cultivate's 32-hour certification course that offers an exciting, new career path to his fellow chiropractors. By driving on-site culture changes at forward-thinking corporations, they collectively deliver an opportunity to not only help them see the potential for measurable health changes, but to realize them.
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