Employers are getting it – sort of. Most believe in the concept of keeping their employees healthy because it just makes sense. Not only does paying attention to this make a difference in the lives of the people who are the most valuable asset to a company, but there are also many benefits to the bottom line – lowered health claims, improved energy and morale, lowered sickness, and improved productivity.
A successful, results-based corporate wellness plan offers various programs with the underlying objective of true behaviour change. To have the biggest impact, a comprehensive approach should include focusing on the individual and implementing group and awareness programs suitable to target the widest range of the population. Individual-based programs may include one-on-one health coaching. Here, the certified health coach works with individuals in achieving personal or family wellness goals. This individual component of the wellness plan ensures accountability, follow up and evaluation which contribute to healthy, long lasting behavioural change. Awareness and group programs need to ensure effective communication strategies that include repetition, small bite-sized information sharing, and ways to ensure the unmotivated are also hearing the same message!
The best way to achieve success with a wellness program is working any chosen initiatives into an overall plan within the organization. The strategic plan may consist of completing a Health Risk Assessment [HRA], establishing a wellness committee, outlining objectives, implementing initiatives and evaluating effort. The results of an HRA outline demographics, employee interests and an overall health risk profile. Strategically aligning the program design to address the results of the HRA, offering programs to support employee interests, and ensuring employee and management objectives are met, all contribute to a healthy return on investment.
Paving the way to motivate the unmotivated isn’t rocket science, but it does take a strategic approach. To achieve optimal engagement with wellness, we need a strategy that is inclusive, encouraging and staged within a healthy environment. This recipe provides the best bet for achievement of a more engaged workforce. Programming needs to be offered to the people who need a wellness program the most – the unmotivated, uninterested and unhealthy. These people respond positively to fresh ideas that are relevant to their needs and their ability to act.
A comprehensive wellness program that is engaging and consistently presents opportunities to increase awareness and move towards health is what works. There is no such thing as a quick-fix approach. The key to program and engagement success is the ability to work with individual employees to ultimately help them modify their behaviours. For some it might be a minor habit adjustment, for others it could be a drastic lifestyle change. This model ensures that a wellness program, tailored for each specific company, will achieve maximum benefits.
The employee wellness industry is growing because it’s easy to see a return on better health. The more programs offered to encourage lasting behaviour change, the healthier the return will be. Healthy employees cost less Period.
How to improve employee wellness programs :
- Effectively Communicate Wellness Initiatives
- Garnering leadership support for an Effective Wellness Program
- Motivating the unmotivated for Wellness Program success
- Optimizing Engagement with Wellness Initiatives