Over the past few years, organizations have continued to dedicate resources (and budget) to the task of implementing enterprise-wide employee wellness programs. It’s fair to say that the results have been less than spectacular and with a few exceptions, minimal progress has been made towards improving employee health, decreasing healthcare costs or increasing workforce productivity as an end-result of wellness programs, but that doesn’t need to be the case.
Why is an Ecosystem Approach the Solution?
Engagement and sustainability are equally important when it comes to driving measureable improvement. A healthy wellness ecosystem is basically a pervasive environment there the organization’s workforce is continuously offered and engages in opportunities to make healthy lifestyle choices. Historically, enterprise wellness initiatives have taken a somewhat siloed approach to both the deployment and and management of the program. In reality, the healthy enterprise wellness ecosystem is required to engage participants in healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Participants must have a working knowledge regarding the HOW and WHY of behavior change. Education and learning opportunities must be easily accessible, relevant to the specific needs and interests of the participant, and actionable over the amount of time necessary to make healthy behavior become habitual.
Organizations should provide an environment where the workforce is continuously engaged in opportunities to make healthy lifestyle choices. When healthy behavior becomes a habit, the business impacts of cost reduction and productivity increases can be realized. The framework for a healthy Enterprise Wellness Ecosystem is comprised of controllable, programmatic, elements that organizations utilize to promote opportunities for participants to make healthy lifestyle choices and start changing unhealthy behaviors.
Your enterprise wellness program should work together with learning programs, a wellness-focused partner community, and well thought out behavior incentives. For this to be achieved, stakeholders should take a more holistic and systematic view of enterprise-wide employee wellness.