Thought Leadership

Keys to a Successful Journey From Wellness to Population Health & Well-Being

Rich Babcock from Brown & Brown National Employee Benefits presenting to group

October 21, 2019 | Brown & Brown National Employee Benefits | In The Media

Our National Population Health Consultant, Rich Babcock recently shared Brown & Brown’s Population Health keys to success with employers at a seminar hosted by our Brown & Brown Daytona Beach office.  Read on (or click to download) to learn more about the keys to a successful workforce health strategy.

Our Population Health & Well-being approach is innovative, evidence-based and designed to help our clients attract and retain a healthy, engaged, and productive workforce.

STRATEGY FIRST | Don’t put the solution before the problem. Start with an understanding of business issues and human capital needs, then apply our Intelligent Health PlanTM framework to develop a strategy with specific goals and objectives. Have a clear understanding of which workforce issues are having the most impact on your organization’s performance. How important is attraction and retention of talent, benefit costs, employee morale and engagement, absence, and productivity? Then set priorities, establish measurable objectives, invest in evidence-based solutions, and develop a plan to engage employees and their families and monitor performance.

TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH | Historically, many employers focused their workforce health and productivity investments on physical health, and they looked at ROI as the primary outcome metric (i.e., the cost of their investment compared to the health care cost savings associated with the programs). Now more employers are taking a broader “Value on Investment” (VOI) view of the impact their investments can have on business outcomes, and are including metrics such as employee engagement, productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, and attraction/retention.

Health and well-being programs have also become more holistic with an expanded focus on emotional, financial, and social health as well as organizational culture. A recent Gallup Organization study found employees who thrive physically, emotionally, socially and financially have 40% lower health care costs, 35%
lower turnover and 31% higher productivity.

LEVERAGE DIGITAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGY | Digital health is one of the most far-reaching trends in health care and holds promise to improve access to care, change behaviors, and impact workforce health and productivity. For example, telemedicine solutions are available now to help treat earaches, provide
therapy/counseling, and deliver physical therapy 24/7 in the privacy of your home. Remote devices monitor blood sugar, weight and blood pressure and can improve management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

There are thousands of digital health solutions in the marketplace (according to Rock Health, in 2018 more than $8 billion was invested in 368 digital health deals). It’s critical for employers to do their homework before adding a digital health solution to their workforce health strategy. The addition of digital solutions should be coupled with a strategy that is based on employer-specific data, promotes employee engagement, and is consistent with overall organization goals.

ENGAGE EMPLOYEES WITH A SUPPORTIVE CULTURE | Research supports the notion that employers with a positive culture who position health as a business value can enhance their bottom line and market brand. Develop a supportive physical work environment and take a top down/bottom up “sandwich approach” to building organizational support and engaging employees. Engage senior leaders to promote the value of employee well-being, empower managers to educate their teammates, and harness peer-to-peer influence by establishing a network of workforce health ambassadors. Leverage technology to personalize messaging, provide easy access to resources and make it possible for employees to engage anytime, anywhere.

Ultimately one of the best measures of a program’s success is how it is perceived by employees and the impact it has on employee engagement (i.e., those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace (Gallup)). Unfortunately, a typical survey response from a traditional wellness
program participant is, “This is an HR initiative and I’m doing it for the money.” Employers who take a population health and well-being approach should start hearing, “This is an employee benefit and I’m doing this to enhance all facets of my life.”


This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting or tax needs.