What is a Biometric Test And Why Employers Should Offer Them
It can’t be emphasized enough that being healthy is paramount to success in today’s harsh and demanding world. A person is only able to overcome life’s difficulties if he is healthy and fit.
Being healthy means having a physical, mental, and social wellbeing. It implies that a person is free from diseases. It also means that if he falls ill, he has the ability to recover and bounce back swiftly.
Even in an organization, the health of its employees is of the utmost importance. It is the key factor in determining productivity and output. When employees are of good health they are less likely to be absent, they are more motivated and productive.
Overall, an organization can only function properly if its employees are healthy.
But, maintaining a healthy body and mind is becoming increasingly hard in our time, especially for corporate employees. Some reasons for this are environmental pollution, the use of preservatives and chemicals in foods, sedentary behaviors, and workplace stress.
Above all these, with the increasing use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, even healthy people are becoming unhealthy. Conditions and health risks like heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure are now commonplace around the world.
How can employers help identify health risks and improve employee health?
As has been mentioned, employee health is very important for employers. Employers around the world have started offering health and wellness programs and similar initiatives for their employees.
One more way to assess and improve employee health, which is growing quickly in popularity, is conducting a Biometric test.
What is a Biometric Test?
Biometric tests or screenings are tests in which physical measurements and biometric data are taken to assess the health of employees. They are short, convenient, and can be conducted in offices and work-sites. They allow employers to set a standard of reference for employee health status and assess changes over time.
Usually, nurses or health care professionals conduct biometric health screenings. The screening measures data such as height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, blood cholesterol, etc.
Also, employees are required to fast prior to the test as blood samples are taken intravenously. Before the blood samples are taken, employees are given questionnaires. They are required to fill them up with relevant information such as family history, behavior, medical conditions, etc.
Many biometric test providers include other methods to cut costs and effort. But, a good biometric test provider always includes blood draws. Blood tests are the most reliable and consistent way to ascertain health problems.
The screening results are sent to the employees personally and personal information is not shared without the consent of the person.
Why should employers provide them?
One of the biggest problems for employers is the increasing rates of health care costs. The vast majority of health care costs are because of health conditions which could have been prevented if detected earlier. Thus, it is very important for employers to conduct health assessments to identify health risks and nip them at the bud.
According to a survey, 74 percent of US companies provide biometric tests as part of their workplace health and wellness programs.
If you are an employer wanting to start a wellness program in your company, you should start by conducting a biometric test. Doing so will allow you to analyze the health of your employees and then take steps to improve it accordingly.
Also, having a proper health analysis will help you understand how to design and strategize the wellness program.
Conducting a biometric test can very beneficial for employers and employees alike.
Here’s how biometric tests benefit you as an employer -
- Establishes a baseline of employee health status through detailed reports.
- Identifies chronic health conditions of employees in the earliest stages.
- Evaluates what kinds of wellness initiatives would benefit the most.
- Shows concern and care for the health of your workforce.
- Reduces health care costs.
- Improves productivity, morale, satisfaction and decrease absenteeism.
- Promotes health awareness and healthy habits.
- It enables you to formulate a health plan or organize health coaching sessions to improve employee health.
Now, here are ways how your employees are benefitted -
- They are able to access information about their health.
- They are able to identify health risks such as high cholesterol levels and take steps to reduce them.
- Biometric tests save their time as they would not require to go to a medical facility to get the tests done.
- They recognize you as a concerned employer and it helps them stay satisfied in their job.
- They are able to perform better and be more productive.
All these reasons are more than enough for you to offer biometric screening tests for your employees. But just offering one for your workforce is not enough. You have to make sure participation and engagement are high.
Also, you need to be able to take relevant action once the results come in.
Here are some tips to ensure participation-
- Offer incentives to your employees for completing the screening. Offering rewards like paid leaves, healthy snacks, or cash prizes are guaranteed ways to increase participation.
- Allow your employees to bring their spouses and family members for the test as well.
- Ensure the privacy of your employees’ information. Reassure them that all data obtained is kept confidential.
- Promote the importance and benefits of biometric screenings to your employees through emails and newsletters.
And, here are a few ways to increase post-screening engagement -
- Hire a biometric screening provider that can engage employees after the results are in. Renowned providers do this by sending emails, calls, or text to employees who are at risk of health problems.
- Help your employees to adopt healthy behaviors by introducing wellness initiatives such as weight loss challenges, cycle to work scheme, etc.
- Invite a health coach or nutritionist to your workplace to educate and advise individuals with high risks of health problems.
If your objective is to improve the health of your employees, then you should start by conducting a biometric test.
A biometric test will provide awareness and help your employees and you to take the right steps towards improving health. They are a great way to identify potential health risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. They are also quick, efficient, and convenient.
After all, if your employees are healthy only then will they be able to function properly. Without healthy employees, workplace productivity, team morale, and company image will all suffer.
So, make sure your employees are on the right path towards health and wellness by conducting a biometric test for them.