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Draw staff to health screenings with the right sales pitch

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in Human Resources

Issue: Employees who participate in health screenings submit fewer medical claims, lowering your costs.

Risk: They won't show up if they don't see the value.

Action: Dangle the best carrots (based on the employee's age) to lure them to company-run screenings.

Attract more employees to your next health screening by tailoring your sales pitch, in part, to the employee's stage in life.

For example, tell older employees that screenings improve their chances of living a longer and healthier life. More than half of the age-55-and-older employees surveyed recently by Principal Financial Group and Harris Interactive said that the "live longer" pitch would prompt them to participate in a health screening, compared to only 33 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds.

Almost 40 percent of those younger employees polled said incentives such as health club discounts and gift certificates for workout gear would prompt them to participate.

The benefits: A full 75 percent of employees who participate in on-site screenings make lifestyle changes, including eating healthier and exercising more. Better yet, studies show that people who receive regular health screenings make fewer medical claims.

Basic screenings include tests for blood sugar and cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate and body-fat composition. Hospitals, clinics, community organizations, churches, trade associations (such as AARP), pharmacies, insurance companies and other groups provide screenings at little or no cost.

Final tip: Ask health insurers for health-screening price breaks when renewing or shopping for coverage.

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