When it comes to wellness, the unwillingness of senior HR executives to search the internet continues to boggle my mind. As a result, Penske Automotive’s Executive VP of Human Resources somehow missed two of the most widely circulated memos of the last five years:
- Annual checkups provide no net benefit for most working-age people and are a total waste of money;
- As of January 2019, you can’t force employees to get them by tying them to large incentives or penalties.
As to the first, I will give him credit for one thing. He says: “We know that when you see a doctor, eye to eye every year, it has an impact.” Darn tootin’ it does — an immediate 2-3% increase in your health spending.
Later he says: “It’s too soon to see results of decreased costs to the company from the initiative.” Ya think? This is like the Comptroller of the state of Connecticut saying that, yes, of course costs went up when they made employees get physicals, but higher healthcare costs are “a good thing.”
Having seen no savings, Penske’s EVP decided to take the obvious next step, the step that every executive takes once a wellness initiative has been shown to be a complete failure just like the literature predicts: roll the program out to more people. In Penske’s case, that would be spouses and domestic partners.
He added: “We are going to see over time our health care costs decrease… We may not see it this year or next year, but we’ll see it over time for sure.”
Start the wait…
Any sign of savings yet?
Oh silly me. I thought we have been told recently that employers do wellness because they want healthy employees or that it is the right thing to do, not to save money. When will I ever learn?????
I love when you tie wellness to a cultural allusion. This one is spot on. I’m going to watch the episode tonight.