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How the Power in a Simple Values Statement Can Help to Reduce Ri

Values statements are part of the overall strategic planning process. This simple statement has potentially untapped power to reduce one of the greatest challenges facing any business - rising health care costs.

To begin to understand how this can be done is to truly understand what a value statement really is. This is truly an agreement that everyone from the top down to the bottom up demonstrated those specific behaviors. Given the purpose of this is the underlying belief that said behaviors will help and maintain the viability of the organization, then it seems reasonable for the organization to be healthy each individual within that entity is also healthy.

Now since 70% of health care costs can be directly attributed to individuals' unhealthy behaviors, then connecting the values statement to the behaviors of all employees is strategic in nature and truly, pardon the expression, a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many businesses have failed to make this most logical connection and have suffered the consequences of rising health care costs.

Additional health care research has proven that preventive services found within some Employee Assistance Programs do not stem the tide of rising health care costs. The reason is quite simple. External actions to behavioral control are fare less effective than internal ones. When individuals own their behaviors and accept the consequences or the rewards for said behavior, sustainability is far more likely to happen.

Of course, if an innovative organization decides to connect the Values Statement to healthy behaviors, then existing policies and procedures may also need to be reviewed. The reason for this is that some organizations intentionally and unintentionally reward poor behaviors while punishing good behaviors. This can be usually observed in performance appraisals where employees are verbally recognized for their outstanding contributions, but the written documentation shows their performance to be average.

Values Statements can indeed reverse the trend of rising health care costs. All it takes is a well communicated commitment from management and reinforcement using proven tools for all employees.