YourForce: An Apple a Day …

By Mike Prokopeak

Sep. 28, 2014

The Apple Watch’s debut last month was a boon for technophiles, but it also might be one for employee wellness programs, too.

Less than 10 years ago, a mobile phone was just that — a portable device with a numeric keypad you’d use to dial up friends. But when Apple came along with the iPhone, it was a sea change.

What the iPhone did for communication and entertainment, wearable devices may do for health and wellness programs, which are often held back by low participation and uncertain return on investment.

Wearables like the Apple Watch might just change that. They effortlessly monitor your heart rate, alert others to a sudden change in activity and even make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye.

If it takes off, an Apple a day may just keep the doctor away, and employers might take a bite out of their health care costs.

Giving in Guatemala
AMN Healthcare President and CEO Susan Salka (left) recently led a volunteer company mission to villages in the highlands of Guatemala. There, teams operated an acute-care hospital and clinic and conducted community development projects. AMN, a San Diego-based health care staffing company, partnered with Helps International to sponsor 10 clinicians for the weeklong medical mission and 10 nonclinical company staffers to participate in a related community development project.

Reader Feedback

Reader Dick Grote reacted to the August issue’s Last Word, “SHRM’s Game of Chance”:
I don’t have a dog in this SHRM/HRCI fight. But I sure do appreciate clever writing when I run across it.
Rick Bell’s article on the current certification mess is one of the most insightful, astute and amusing pieces I’ve run across in our HR field in quite a long time.

And reader GoShox stated:
I agree that many employers don’t give a second thought about what specifically the certification is, if they care at all. For those that do, they look for the letters at the end of the name and wouldn’t give much credence as to which governing body issued them.

Reader Ronald reacted to the August story “Does Paid Time Off Pay Off?”
There are a few points that I disagree with both in this article and in the prevailing wisdom on the “all inclusive” plans: They do not decrease unscheduled absence. If people are sick, they do not plan those absences under any system. These plans erase the line between illness and any other day off, which creates a sense of entitlement. I think we HR professionals need to sharpen our business focus and make sure we are providing solutions that better meet business needs.

Mike Prokopeak is Workforce’s editor in chief.

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