Many of you know how passionate we are about wellness and the importance of thoughtful, well-designed wellness programs at work. There is so much written in the news about Employee Wellness Programs, both good and bad. Many employee wellness programs do not succeed, largely because they fail to engage a meaningful percentage of those most in need and they don’t sustain potential new behaviors long enough to habitualize the targeted lifestyle changes. So, how do you not make that same mistake when designing your wellness programs at work?
Want to bring better, more engaging wellness solutions to your employees?
Then, keep these three elements top of mind:
Behavior change requires constant reinforcement. Creating a genuine wellness ecosystem will leverage partnerships with community stakeholders and allow employees and their dependents to be continuously exposed to healthy choice options. Whether food shopping or going for a walk, a network of suppliers will make it easier for your participants to make the right choices.
Keep in mind that employees spend approximately three-quarters of their time away from work, yet most wellness programs do not provide support outside the office environment, limiting true engagement. For a wellness program to succeed, think about how to support the participant’s desire to change – going to the gym, eating healthier, etc., and offer opportunities for good decision making through-out the day (and night.)
Embrace pervasive learning. Just telling employees that a wellness program is available will not have the desired impact. The workforce needs understand the what, when, why and how to establish sustainable behavior change. Training should be established for each behavioral change focus area and incentives provided along each step of the way.
In a business environment where national health care costs increase about 10% year over year, organizations must take some action. If more employers decided to implement a wellness ecosystem, we could certainly make an impact on the national healthcare cost trend, as well as develop a strategic advantage over our competitors. Our future as a prosperous and productive society is largely dependent upon organizations to seek and try new and better ways to improve the health and well-being of workers and their families.
About the AuthorMore Content by Deb Broderson