🚩 How To Create A Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works
Lately, there’s been some debate about whether workplace health promotion programs, more commonly known as wellness programs, work. The honest answer is that some are successful while others fail. And most of the time this comes down to how they’re designed and executed.
We’ve identified four approaches that, while comparatively difficult, can actually change the health and lives of employees for the better.
Leadership commitment and support. A successful health promotion program starts with a commitment from company leaders, and its continued success depends on ongoing support at all levels of the organization. In particular, leaders at companies with successful programs establish a healthy work environment by integrating health into the organization’s overall vision and purpose. This spills over into our second point.
Building a culture of health. Healthy company culture is built intentionally over time. It is first and foremost about creating a way of life in the workplace that integrates a total health model into every aspect of business practice, from company policies to everyday work activities. By “total health” we mean a culture that’s supportive of career, emotional, financial, physical and social well-being – not just an occasional 5k event. Examples include offering flexible work schedules, giving workers latitude in decision-making, setting reasonable health goals, and establishing a healthy physical environment (healthy food offerings, stand up desks, walking trails in and outside buildings and treadmill workstations). Without this, a wellness program will certainly not thrive.
Spreading the word. Strategic communication leads to greater engagement in employee wellness programs. This boils down to getting clear messages out to workers: this is what the program entails, here is how it works, here’s what’s in it for you, and here are ways to get involved. This can help overcome some of the top barriers to program participation and success: lack of awareness, lack of interest and suspicions about employers’ motivations. Very important: These communications must be frequent, multi-channel, and tailored to the target audience so that it doesn’t fade into background noise.
Measuring the right things. Program evaluation is critical to maintaining accountability for a wellness program. So what should you measure? There are generally two answers: return on investment (ROI) and value of the investment (VOI).
ROI in this context is generally limited to examining the tangible benefits of a program, such as a reduction in medical costs or absenteeism. In our view, ROI is great but it also fails to capture the full benefit of workplace wellness programs. VOI calculations, on the other hand, allow employers to examine the broader impact of programs and their impact on their organization, which may include improved employee morale, talent attraction and retention, enhanced company loyalty and heightened customer loyalty.
Wondering how you can implement a strong wellness program in your organization?
Click the link here for a FREE Wellness Strategy call to go over your current pain points, company culture and structure and learn ways to implement new strategies.