News

TotalWellness Welcomes New Chief Revenue Officer Greg Conrad

| Tue, Jun 26, 2018

TotalWellness, one of the nation’s leading corporate wellness companies, announced today that Greg Conrad has been named Chief Revenue Officer. Conrad is a highly-experienced sales and account management executive with a history of building cultures of sales excellence through customer-driven solutions and ongoing partnerships.

“Greg is an inspiring and proven leader with deep experience within the corporate wellness industry. He has a strong background in clinical research, expertise in supporting customer strategies, and building customer loyalty with creative sales support that creates win-win experiences,” said Alan Kohll, Founder and President of TotalWellness.

Conrad brings more than 30 years of sales and operational leadership experience to the company. Most recently, he was senior vice president of National Sales and Account Management, at Hooper Holmes Health & Wellness, where he was one of the founders of the wellness division. There he built sales and account management teams, while also handling operational responsibilities, through the growth of the division. Prior to that, Conrad who has spent his career in the service industry was a vice president with EMSI, and senior vice president of Equifax.

“Joining TotalWellness is an exciting opportunity, and I’m delighted to be part of such a well-respected company. The company has a strong network of health professionals, an excellent infrastructure, strong customer loyalty, and is poised for continued growth,” said Conrad. “TotalWellness truly has the leadership, dedicated employees and experience to meet the needs of a growing market.”

Conrad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with minor in Chemistry from Indiana University. He is also active in numerous industry wellness associations.

Bloomberg Law | Employers Coping With Worse Than Usual Flu Season

| Fri, Jan 26, 2018

(Story by Martin Berman-Gorvine originally appeared in Bloomberg Law)

This year’s dominant flu strain is making people sicker than any in recent years and could end up costing employers nearly $10 billion in lost productivity alone.

Employers need to pay attention because they lose almost 17 million working days a year when their employees are down with the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that’s in a typical year. ‘

‘It’s significantly worse than the average year,’’ Alan Kohll, founder of wellness program provider TotalWellness, told Bloomberg Law Jan. 17. Recent unusually cold weather in much of the country made matters worse because people spent more time indoors, where they could more easily spread the flu to each other, he said.

The present flu season ‘‘is on pace to be as bad if not worse than the 2014-15 flu season, which was one of the worst we’ve had in many years,’’ Andrew Challenger, vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told Bloomberg Law Jan. 17. His company estimates the cost to employers in lost productivity could reach $9.4 billion.

Challenger said employers have to discourage ‘‘presenteeism’’ in which sick employees convince themselves that their presence at work is somehow crucial to the company. He suggested employers also avoid holding meetings that crowd a number of people into a small room, making the spread of flu more likely, and that retailers and other shift-based businesses consider increasing the number of shifts but making each shift shorter, to decrease the number of employees working (and potentially spreading the flu around) at any given time.

Kohll said that ‘‘teledoc’’ services—remote medical advice and care—that some employer health plans offer can be helpful to employees with flu.

Due to the unpredictable mutations of the various flu viruses circulating in the population, the annual vaccines with the widest availability don’t offer the best coverage, but immunization is still worth it because it does protect against some strains, Kohll said.

Advice From the CDC The flu strain popping up the most now is known as H3N2, an abbreviation that indicates the specific types of proteins characteristic of each type of flu virus, Dr. Lisa Koonin, deputy director of the influenza coordination unit at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, told Bloomberg Law Jan. 18. The number of people sick with flu nationwide has been rising every week and will soon peak,

The number of people sick with flu nationwide has been rising every week and will soon peak, Koonin said, but even as it begins to fall there will still be a lot of people suffering from the flu for several weeks. Koonin said three pieces of advice are most important for employers to protect their employees:

  • Advise employees to get vaccinated against the flu. ‘‘It’s not too late,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s the best way to prevent flu and serious complications.’’
  • ‘‘It’s very helpful if sick people stay home while sick to avoid spreading flu to other workers. HR should look to policies and encourage people with flulike symptoms to stay home till they’re better.’’
  • Everyday preventive actions like good handwashing, getting enough rest, and eating well keep the immune system as strong as possible. If you do get sick, cover your mouth when you cough and avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.

The CDC recommends that people who are very sick with the flu or in higher risk categories be treated with antiviral medicines, Koonin said.

Reproduced with permission from Daily Labor Report, 13 DLR 23 (Jan. 19, 2018). Copyright 2018 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com.

Bloomberg Law | Successful Wellness Programs Require Well-Defined Goals

| Mon, Aug 21, 2017

Wellness Program Goals(Story by Martin Berman-Gorvine originally appeared in Bloomberg Law)

Employers must carefully delimit exactly what they hope to accomplish by offering employees a wellness program to ensure success, consultants say.

‘‘Define your goals, know what success would look like, and define the program from there,’’ Kate Kennedy, vice president of client management at East Greenwich, R.I.-based workplace wellness program company Provant, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 9.

Companies should answer some basic questions before diving into wellness, she said, such as whether the program will put ‘‘everyone in a big tent or adopt a more targeted approach,’’ the latter perhaps aimed at ‘‘trying to drive people who are driving high claims to change their behavior.’’ Most programs end up somewhere in the middle between the big tent and highly targeted approaches, she said.

Wellness programs do well to strike balances, Kennedy said, such as on complexity—offer choice, but be able to explain the program in an elevator—and on technology, which needs to be included without losing the personal touch.

Set no more than three goals at the outset, such as reducing employee turnover or absenteeism, or controlling health-care costs, Joe Burton, founder and chief executive officer of Whil Concepts Inc., a San Francisco-based health and wellness company, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 10.

But ‘‘recognizing the most pressing needs of the company sometimes means being honest about tough topics,’’ he said. A rapid pace of innovation, increasing automation, offshoring of some jobs, other jobs that are no longer one set task but involve working on ‘‘10 to 15 projects a year,’’ and other dizzying changes all put enormous stress on employees, and part of a wellness program is to ‘‘start a conversation about it,’’ he said.

Getting Executives and Employees on Board

Besides defining goals carefully, successful wellness programs require ‘‘having management buy-in,’’ Alan Kohll, founder of wellness program provider TotalWellness, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 8. When that’s lacking, the program may end up wasting resources. Kohll recalled seeing a fitness center at AOL in the 1990s that ‘‘no one used because no one was allowed the break time.’’

Kennedy agreed that getting management on board is vital and added that ‘‘companies make the mistake of expecting short-term return on investment. Don’t expect it in year one and probably not in year two.’’ Health-care spending might even go up at the beginning, she said, ‘‘but that’s a good thing’’ because it means employees are investing in preventative health, she said.

Incentive design should be tied to benefits, such as employer contributions to employee health reimbursement accounts, ‘‘with a sprinkling of short-term rewards (e.g., gift cards),’’ she said.

David Levy, CEO of EHE International, which helps companies lower their health-care costs, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 11 that while ‘‘money helps’’ to get employees engaged, ‘‘it’s a different ballgame to get them long-term engaged.’’

Avoid a ‘‘cookie-cutter approach’’ in program design, such as having everyone come in for a 90-minute assessment and leave with instructions, which will feel like ‘‘corporate homework,’’ Burton said. Instead, partner with a provider that can ‘‘leverage biometric data to help the individual employee with what they need help with,’’ whether that’s a need to address insomnia, back pain, stress, work relationships, or work performance, he said.

‘‘HR has to understand the marketing of these programs,’’ which can be done if they address the things that ‘‘employees are looking for,’’ he said.

Costco achieved success with its wellness program because it ‘‘surveyed employees on what they valued,’’ Kohll said, much of which was ‘‘stuff that didn’t cost the company much at all.’’ Make sure everyone is rewarded for participating, he said, and don’t overly stress high achievers, such as employees who run a marathon or lose 50 or 100 pounds, because most employees can’t achieve such goals and that will only discourage them, he said. Similarly, go for ‘‘low-hanging fruit,’’ such as increasing physical activity by easy methods like holding walking meetings, he suggested.

Re-evaluate the program periodically, Kennedy suggested, and examine such factors as participation, based on industry benchmarks; health outcomes; success stories with the human touch; program satisfaction, including ‘‘how are they voting with their feet; and employee productivity and engagement. Employers should be prepared to ‘‘step back and revisit their program strategy,’’ she said, through an ‘‘all-employee program survey, discussions with leadership, wellness champions and/or employee focus groups, and benchmarking.’’ A useful tool can be the Health Enhancement Resource Organization (HERO) scorecard, she said.

Source: Bloomberg BNA

What Could Happen If All Your Employees Got The Flu Shot? – Forbes.com

| Thu, Sep 29, 2016

The flu shot is said to be the single best way to protect yourself and your employees from the flu each year. That means the flu shot is your company’s best shot at maintaining a healthy, productive workforce this fall and winter.

Even if you bring flu shots into your workplace to make it easy for employees to make that choice, there’s a chance people will refuse. In our experience, only about 30% of employees who can get vaccinated at work actually choose to do so.

But what if those numbers were much higher?

TotalWellness Founder and President Alan Kohll shares what would happen if every employee at your company got a flu shot this year.

Read article.

Stop Restricting Your Employees’ Health Behaviors – Forbes

| Thu, Sep 15, 2016

When it comes to making healthy choices, there are usually a lot of negative feelings involved. People are often scared of committing to their health, or they don’t want to make it a priority.

But being healthy is what our bodies crave. It’s inherently a good thing. Why all the negativity?

It has a lot to do with the misplaced focus we place on the role of restrictions in a healthy lifestyle—and the role those restrictions play in health promotion at work, says Alan Kohll TotalWellness founder and president.

Read the full article

5 Tips Before Implementing Your Wellness Program – Entrepreneur

| Tue, Sep 13, 2016

Companies considering an employee wellness program should know that while there is no one right way to do it, the initiative must be applicable for everyone regardless of their health, says TotalWellness President and Founder Alan Kohll. Wellness programs should be adaptable and integrate into the company culture, and companies should identify ways to evaluate how well they work, Kohll says.

Read the full article

Here’s What Happens When You Start Focusing On Health At Work – Forbes

| Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Health and wellness can seem like a long and impossible journey. In some ways, that can be true. It does take a lot of work to develop a healthy lifestyle—and it’s a journey that doesn’t stop when you’ve reached your destination.

In other ways, however, that’s simply a false statement. There are some healthy behaviors that show results sooner than others. Making the right changes at the right time can appeal to those who want some “instant gratification.”

When it comes to a workplace wellness program, those changes can be the best ones to make because leadership teams want to see results. They want some hint that their effort and investments are paying off—even if they recognize the bigger pay-offs take some time.

Read the full article

5 Ways To Bring The 2016 Rio Olympics To Your Employees – Forbes

| Wed, Jul 27, 2016

“The olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself.” – Dawn Fraser

How can you hop on that bandwagon where you work? How can you take advantage of the comradery and teamwork that come with exciting, common and distinguished goals?

Organize your own Office Olympics when you want to boost employee morale. These activities will have everyone cheering on their teammates, having fun, and celebrating as a team!

Read the full article and get more tips for bringing the excitement of the Olympics to your office.

How Healthy Are Your Employees? – Business News Daily

| Fri, Jul 22, 2016

Business News Daily shared the findings of biometric screening data across our book of business in 2015. The screenings looked at five key health metrics: cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, waist circumference and BMI.

Despite the growing trend toward sedentary lifestyles, Americans in the workforce are actually healthier than you might think, according to a new report by TotalWellness, a company that offers biometric screenings and assistance with corporate wellness programs. But more steps can be taken toward achieving better health — and employers can play a significant role in that.

Read article 

Don’t Overlook Wellness When Building Your Business – Entrepreneur

| Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Our president and founder, Alan Kohll recently joined Entreprenuer.com as a contributor. With over 20 years of experience in the wellness industry, Alan will be sharing his insight about corporate wellness, employee well-being and overall health trends.

In his first article, he shares how even the smallest companies can benefit from employee wellness programs. From improving productivity, helping with talent acquisition and retention and increasing brand recognition – wellness programs can support business growth.

Read the full article here.