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Employee Wellness

November 21-22, 2013
This event has ended. Click Enter Event to view the archive.
The Employee Wellness virtual events encompass injury prevention, battling obesity, disease prevention, how technology is affecting wellness (with online challenges and monitoring), using social media, employee engagement (use of incentive/reward programs), biometric data, outsourcing vs. internal programs, ROI and more.

Do you want that competitive edge in your professional space? Do you want to assert your knowledge of current HR topics, trends within your domain? Why not set yourself apart from your peers and get certified with and the Institutes for Human Resources (IHR).

The Institute for Human Resources (IHR), the certification and accreditation process arm of, has a program for you! Many HR professionals have a general HR degree or certification with a wide spectrum of HR functionalities learned. The IHR is the only institute that focuses on niche areas within Human Resources. A specialty certification increases your market value, adds value to your work experience, furthers your knowledge, and recognizes you as an industry leader and/or expert in the field.

Conference Webcast Schedule
Lynn Lievonen, People Pleaser(

Welcome to the Institute for Human Resources for Employee Wellness! Thank you to everyone for your participation and support. Join us over the next two days for our exciting lineup of speakers with many informative sessions covering the hot topics and trends surrounding the Employee Wellness community. This introductory session will give you an overview of the Institute for Human Resources - Employee Wellness certification program. The Institute for Human Resources (IHR) Employee Wellness certification program launched on September 14 & 15, 2011 with a two-day virtual event and this is now our 9th virtual event in the area of Employee Wellness .

The purpose of this session is to provide you with an update on the webcast topics and speakers that will be presenting over these two days. In addition, for those of you who have not participated in one of these events in the past, you will be shown how to register for any newly-added webcasts and make use of the virtual Exhibit Hall, where you can increase your knowledge on product and service suppliers in the employee wellness space. You will also learn how to network with your peers by visiting the lounge.

All of these webcasts have been approved for HRCI recertification credits (the only exception being this introductory webcast). This short, 15-minute webcast will provide you with complete information on what is required to obtain certification from the Institute for Human Resources.

Throughout this session we will:

- Introduce you to the Advisory Board
- Introduce you to the Institute and the Certification program
- Help you learn how to become an expert in employee wellness
- Offer an opportunity for YOU to host an educational session and educate your peers
- Learn why this Institute is important to the employee wellness industry and how you can contribute to its success
- Share a calendar of future events so that members can pre-register now to add the dates to their calendars

If you are new to the Institute for Employee Wellness, this introduction will cover not only our past accomplishments but also explain why you should continue to participate and be a part of this community. For those with questions regarding the Institute and its content, this is your chance to share your ideas. Don’t forget, this is a great opportunity to converse with our industry experts. Looking forward to your participation!

Audrey Pellicano, Grief Recovery Specialist(Wise Widow)

"Putting a Price Tag on Grief," an article published in the Wall Street Journal in 2002, was an awakening for many corporations as to the annual cost of employee grief in the workplace. Known as the “Grief Index” many were stunned to learn this hidden annual cost was in excess of $75 billion. Released in 2003, the index has not been adjusted for inflation since that time. However, more recent statistics tell us that depression alone is estimated to cost $83 billion annually in the U.S. and in terms of presenteeism, the disorder is the highest cost health condition nationwide; and one in five bereaved or grieving people will suffer depression.

According to the report, 85% of management level decision makers responded that their own business decisions, after a personal loss, ranked from very poor to fair in the weeks and months following their loss.
Grief is one of the most off limit topics for conversation in this country yet each and every one of us will be grievers at some time in our lives. The costs to corporations due to the unaddressed needs of a grieving employee and the impact loss has on the corporate team are unnecessary and avoidable.

Through simple, practical shifts in communication, the cost of grief to the workplace can be reduced and can be accomplished without great expense.

In this time of increased awareness of the life situations that have brought grief to the forefront, participants will understand the power of “organizational compassion” as stated by Professor Jane Dutton, Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Participants will learn the simple but not always easy ways to voice compassion to employees and co-workers, which serve to lift the spirits of grieving employees and that of the corporate environment.

Don Powell, President and CEO(American Institute For Preventive Medicine)

With an increase in research being done on the effectiveness of work site wellness programs and their benefits, studies are consistently showing positive results for both the employees and their organizations. A Harvard study published in Health Affairs found that companies who provide work site wellness programs have an average Return on Investment of $3.27 to 1 due to reduced health-care costs and an ROI of $2.73 to 1 due to reduced absenteeism. This trend is quickly growing many corporations are providing work site wellness programs, or are in the planning / initial stages of implementing them. This talk will provide information as to the best practices and approaches organizations can use to successfully implement wellness programs which prove to be beneficial and cost effective.

Firstly, the speaker will discuss the history of wellness and where it stands today i.e., the rising costs of medical care and the implications for employers. Furthermore, this talk will explain the vast array of program options based upon the employer’s specific needs, including medical self-care, behavior modification to achieve lifestyle changes, online wellness challenges, communication vehicles, health coaching options, as well as creating a culture of health within the workplace. Not only will this talk help enhance your workplace wellness programs, but it will also explain the issues an organization may face in the process of implementing these programs.

This discussion will provide all the tips, strategies, and information necessary to implement wellness goals, maximize productivity, increase employee participation, all the while maximizing a return on investment.

Carol Zimmerman, Director of Small Business Operations(Health Initiative, Inc.)
Anne Marie Snell, Wellness Program Director(WorkWell Investments)

Learn about a small business health promotion model applied in Upstate New York. The Health Initiative of Potsdam, New York in St. Lawrence County received a two-year grant from the New York State Department of Health to test a model for providing comprehensive and results-oriented wellness programming for employers who employ less than 75 workers.

The Healthy Small Business Pilot engaged nine businesses and utilized health risk assessments (HRAs), biometric screenings, health coaching, a wellness committee, behavior change campaigns, educational presentations, wellness policy development and culture change as part of the program model. By treating all nine sites as one worksite, we hoped to achieve the economies of scale necessary for cost containment and show a program cost of $150/employee/year. The overall goals of the project included: showing that at least 25% of employees completing an HRA will reduce at least one chronic risk factor, the micro business model will show a positive return on investment and the project will validate the proposed price per employee to provide comprehensive worksite wellness services to micro employers.

This presentation describes the model used to provide effective and reproducible worksite wellness to small employers and includes a discussion of demographics, data collection tools and methods, wellness programming, results (e.g., 50% of employees decreased at least one high risk factor, the percent of obese employees decreased by 6.6%, the percent of employees with normal blood pressure increased by 13%, employees used less sick days), estimated cost benefit ratio analysis, lessons learned and current projects related to this pilot project.

Mark Cassidy, GM - Innovation & Risk(2cRisk)

Poor employee health has the ability to impact heavily on the viability of any business operation. Absenteeism, presenteeism, health (disability and superannuation) and workers' compensation claims often develop over time and present a unique challenge to employers that, if left unchecked, pose a risk to the business and the individuals who work there.

The use of health and wellness interventions offer any organization the ability to control and monitor health risks over time and to make subtle changes in areas such as pre-employment medicals, to ensure that sustainable employment outcome. By encouraging individual participation in the HRA process and building trust by aggregating the results (or even administering the HRA anonymously), employers will gain insight into how their workforce is coping. Descriptive questions requiring personal answers such as “I feel” and “I believe” are more likely to elicit honest responses to how workers feel about their circumstances. By designing questions in this manner, particularly those around coping with work, the responses can prove to be good leading indicators of absenteeism. For example, if there are changes in the workplace (e.g. restructuring, workload, job tasks, rosters, etc.), the employer can elicit responses around how these changes are impacting on work-life balance and predict where absenteeism can be expected. In doing so, mechanisms can be put in place to a) immediately identify absences as they occur and b) use proactive measures, such as EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) to support workers through any transitional periods and reduce the impact the changes may have on the workforce. In many ways, unplanned and uncontrolled absences can become quite cancerous and reflective of poor organizational cultures.

Michele Dodds, VP of Health and Wellness(ComPsych)

For HR and benefits professionals, measuring the ROI of a wellness program can seem like a larger-than-life task. It’s a process that can be frought with challenges, from defining what constitutes a wellness program to deciding what to track to problems in getting key data from a multitude of vendors. In this informative webinar, Dr. Michele Dodds, VP of Health and Wellness at ComPsych, breaks down the key steps to take in not only measuring wellness ROI but achieving it.

Using a best-practices approach to designing wellness programs and evaluating their performance, Dr. Dodds will discuss new trends in VOI (value of investment). Markers of VOI include such elements as financial indicators/net savings, compliance with preventive screenings, health risk indicators, shareholder value and employee morale and productivity.

Dr. Dodds then will talk about the role of wellness programs in facilitating behavior change and the importance of focusing on modifiable health risks in order to achieve results. This can be accomplished through multiple program modalities and tiered incentive strategies to inspire engagement.

Finally, Dr. Dodds will use case studies to show how employers have benchmarked and evaluated the health risks of their unique employee population, with special attention placed upon employees with multiple risks (which greatly impacts productivity). She will then show how employers used this information to focus wellness efforts in areas where the most impact can be achieved.

Attendees will learn
•       Important program elements to track
•       How to obtain baseline measures of medical claims, pharmacy, disability and related costs
•       How value-based benefit design can drive ROI
•       How to turn participation into engagement, which will “move the needle” in terms of health outcomes

Eileen Lichtenstein, Peak Performance Success Coach-Trainer-Speaker-Author: SOAR! with Resilience(TM)/Communication, Stress & Anger Management /stress-anger management(Balance & Power, Inc.)

We can overcome most workplace stress. Learn the following tips and strategies to help create greater stress management/reduction for increased productivity, focus, creativity in the workplace and improved health and happiness!
• Learn Relaxation Breathing and Mindful Meditation.
• Become intentionally aware of what is happening in the moment without judgment. See things as they are. Do not take things "personally."
• Mindful emailing can be as simple as drafting a message, taking three mindful breaths, and then re-reading the message from the perspective of the receiver before sending.
• Before answering a phone or making a call, take a few deep breaths.
• Before starting a meeting take three mindful breaths or take a few minutes before the meeting to sit with everyone and practice mindfulness meditation together.
• Learn how cope with difficult colleagues by talking with an expert or attending a seminar regarding distinctions among communication and behavioral styles.
• Practice basic mindful meditation, listening meditation and walking meditation whenever it fits your schedule.
• Conduct internal "traffic control" throughout the day. Check in with yourself.
• Take a break when you need it. Release frustration and anger with "silent scream", progressive muscle relaxation, exercise, relaxation breathing and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) .
• Stay Positive: Write your goal in positive language. The more positive instructions you give yourself, the more positive results you get! Review and re-prioritize your goals frequently. Give yourself permission to change your mind.
• Pay attention to your body, feelings, thoughts and intuitive self!
• Be Realistic! Setting a realistic goal within a realistic time frame is important within a bigger picture and prevents self-sabotage. Learn SMART Goals.

Aaron Sapra, Regional Director(Global Corporate Challenge)

At a time when more employers are using financial as well as other types of incentives to drive employee behavior change, is it possible to develop a successful health initiative without the use of incentives? Join us and we will share how leading companies around the world drive behavioral change without using a carrot or a stick!

Aaron Sapra, Regional Director for the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) will share how the GCC has redefined the concept of 'wellness' in the workplace across 10 years, 100 countries and over 1,000,000 lives - by developing a program that addresses the psychological factors behind employee reluctance to engage in wellness interventions.

We will begin by looking at what type of incentives are currently used by US companies, what these incentives cost and the results they are achieving. We will outline how the culture of entitlement that prevails across US workplaces can instead be transformed into a true culture of health and personal responsibility. You will learn how other companies have developed their own wellbeing strategies and understand the factors – including empowerment, enjoyment and engagement - that are essential in building a successful employee wellness initiative.

You will see the clinical data which drives the development of GCC's approach and gain an understanding of how this data can be communicated to employees in a manner that is both fun and motivating. Lastly, we will focus on the results that companies can achieve by partnering with the GCC, resulting in permanent and, most importantly, positive, behavioural changes for their most important asset – their people.

Lisa Holland RN, MBA, StayFit Plan(The StayFit Plan)

Poor health and financial stress come with a high price tag, eating away at employer healthcare affordability and an individual’s ability to save for their future. Currently, there is quite a bit of literature and research about financial illness and its negative impact to employees and employers. Only a third of employees (36%) are “extremely happy” with their current financial well-being and three out of five employees (59%) indicate they worry about their long-term financial future. (Source: Principal Financial Well-Being Index, 1st Quarter 2013)
Today, 84% of workers view physical health as an investment in their financial future. (Source: Associated Press Research, 2012), yet ten modifiable health risk factors are linked to more than one-fifth of employer-employee health care spending (stress, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, depression, hypertension, high blood glucose, high cholesterol and poor eating habits). These risk factors account for over $880 per person, or more than 20% of all employer health care costs. (Source: “Ten Modifiable Health Risk Factors are Linked To More Than One-fifth of Employer-Employee Health Care Spending,” by Ron Z. Goetzel, Xiaofei Pei, Maryam J. Tabrizi, Rachel M. Henke, Niranjana Kowlessar, Craig F. Nelson and R. Douglas Metz, Health Affairs, November 2012, vol. 31, no 11 2474-2484)
In order to help employees achieve physical health AND Financial Wellness, employers must consider innovative health strategies and benefit choices that will help employees become healthy, wealthy and productive.

This presentation will provide an overview of the impact of Financial Illness in the workplace and how employers can assist employees with achieving Financial Wellness using personal economics. Many individuals are unaware how their personal health habits can drain their finances. Understanding the connection between physical health and wealth is an important aspect of personal economics. Helping individuals to realize that they can achieve financial security by engaging and participating in many of the employer sponsored programs that exist today. The presentation will introduce a new innovative web-based tool that employers can use to help employees achieve Financial Wellness.

The webinar will discuss:
•       Current State of Wellness
•       Financial Wellness
•       Why Financial Wellness is so Important
•       Impact of Financial Illness
•       Behavioral economics vs. Personal economics
•       Solutions, Strategies, Tactics

Ryan Collier, Principal User Experience Designer(Healthentic, Inc.)
Herbert Ong, President & CEO(Healthentic, Inc.)

According to a 2010 Kaiser/HRET study, 74% of companies who offer employee benefits administer at least one wellness program . Most employers recognize that offering wellness programs is an effective cost-containment strategy, but when asked what the actual impact of the program was on their group’s health, cannot give a quantifiable answer.
Employers looking to move the needle in wellness simply want to maximize the impact of their wellness programs and reduce their organization’s healthcare expenses. They might feel that proving a return on investment for their wellness initiatives and policies is virtually impossible, and rely on self-reported data to offer results.

Fortunately, there is a powerful way to manage multiple insurance reports from various carriers to paint an accurate picture of a company’s whole health data. With this knowledge it is finally possible to determine, with solid data, which wellness and health policies are going to make an impact on a population’s health. Furthermore, this technology is available to employers of any size, and with any budget.

Learn how an employer can watch the needle move as “healthy” employees stay healthy and the “preventable” and “chronic” populations migrate into healthier categories. Find out more about these categories, which were deducted by the revolutionary research of the University of Michigan’s Dee Edington, Ph.D. See how his theories pertaining to wellness and population migration can help make you a health care hero at your office.

Other benefits of workplace wellness programs include: increased productivity and presenteeism, team development, workplace satisfaction, and commitment to the employer.

Sponsors for this event:

IHR Certifications
Are you becoming an industry expert?    Each One Hour Webcast on is reviewed and can qualify for an Institute for Human Resources credit.    The Institute for Human Resources Certification Program provides HR Professionals with an opportunity to specialize in one vertical or domain, making them an Industry Expert.   Each of’s webcasts are reviewed and evaluated against the verticals/domains criteria, and one credit hour can be applied to the appropriate vertical or domain.   For more information regarding the IHR Certification Program, please click here or visit:
Did you know that each one-hour webcast is submitted to qualify for HR Certification Institute recertification credits? The archive of the webcast also qualifies recertification credits, for one (in some cases two) year(s) after the original broadcast. You can get your PHR, SPHR, GPHR and credits all without ever leaving your desk. We know how busy today's successful HR professionals are, which is why we're committed to delivering the best education to you in an easy and entertaining format. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute homepage at
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