General Mills Wellness Program Effective at Curtailing Healthcare Increases

by: Nichole Gunn February 9, 2011

As the old saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ Unfortunately, the same is holding true for employees’ participation in corporate wellness programs.

While businesses utilizing wellness programs has increased 7 percent over the last two years, according to a recent study conducted by PwC, this lack of employee motivation for company wellness programs is causing businesses to come up with more effective strategies.

General Mills, a consumer-products company, has a history of striving to motivate workers to keep active and healthy through strategies that include a comprehensive wellness program. “Among other things, employees conduct business meetings while walking, cross-country ski on campus during ‘Fitness Fridays’ and attend cooking classes,” explains Jilian Mincer, writing for The Wall Street Journal.


Wellness-program-effective_Incentive-SolutionsOther innovative touches to the company’s program includes are: online access or in-person help to complete employee health-risk assessments, and in the Minneapolis headquarters, employees “have free access to doctors and nurses at its preventative health-care clinic."

These strategies are effective, as General Mills can attest to; initiatives to enhance employee wellness have enabled the company to maintain “increases in healthcare costs in the single digits – significantly below the national average.”

With skyrocketing healthcare costs and a decline in the overall health of employees, due to obesity and inactivity, more and more businesses are realizing the need to implement effective employee wellness programs.

While there are a number of studies and articles suggesting effective strategies that businesses can employ to create their own wellness program, there are also experts in the wellness industry who can help come up with unique and customized programs for a particular company’s culture and employees.

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About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.