Today it is more than a mere buzzword. Organizations are certainly taking employee wellness more seriously. And with good reason too. On the benevolent side of the tilting scale employers are concerned about rising health issues of their workforce. On the selfish end, of course, lie healthcare costs. Either way, the drivers for this trend are urgent and critical.
But do happy beginnings make for happy endings? Like the proverbial road to hell being paved with noble intentions, too many organizations trying to implement wellness programs are left wondering with the million-dollar question. Where are we going wrong in spite of our commitment?
The truth lies in understanding both the objective and the tools of execution of a good and sustainable corporate wellness program. Treat it like a tick in the box, either the tick or the box will move away from the other. Treat it like a mere band-aid, and you will find the wound actually festering inside it.
Corporate wellness is truly the culmination of many solutions that work together under one strategy. It certainly helps to appoint a wellness integrator who links purpose, knowledge, efficiency, creativity and operational excellence to do your program proud and successful.
So what are the keys to a wellness program that actually works? Here are some best practices towards developing and implementing a successful wellness program.
- Senior management, your commitment is critical. Show your employees that the organization is willing to commit funding and link health promotion to business goals, values and strategic priorities
- Set up an inclusive wellness team to take on the ownership of the program. Empower them to get the buy-in from the rest of the organization. Let them wear their thinking caps to ensure the program is responsive to the needs of all participants
- Discover, gather and analyze data to assess employee health interests and risks. Craft your wellness program on this data.
- The vision may be complete but the mission is not until a meticulous operating plan is drawn up. It must have measurable objectives and goals, plus ‘touch-and-feel’ engagement aspects that motivate and inspire the workforce.
- Draw a seamless line-of-sight between the health initiatives chosen and the data gathered. Link them cohesively to goals and objectives. Address prevailing risk factors in your employee population. And let the wellness program have both what management and employees want.
- Create a supportive environment for your wellness initiatives. Make encouragement, opportunity and rewards your sergeants at arms for your wellness initiatives. If a culture of health is what you are trying to achieve, stock the pantry and vending machines with healthy food choices. Look at flexible work schedules celebrate health achievements
- Make it creative. Make it dynamic and stimulating. Corporate wellness s cannot be boring for sure!
- Above all, have the management team model healthy behavior
- Track, monitor and evaluate with transparency. This allows you to collectively celebrate goals that have been achieved and to discontinue or change ineffective initiatives.
Preventable wellness is a complete lifestyle and behavior change. The good news is that it is a truth that both organizations and employees agree on. This gives rise to a potential commitment mentally, emotionally and on a conscience level. With this tremendous punch of unanimous goodwill, doing nothing is just not an option.