About 80% of organizations with 200+ employees have a wellness program in place, yet medical claims are on the rise and younger people are getting sicker, faster. Here’s how to create a wellness program that will change behavior, improve outcomes, and provide a return on your investment.
Assess: You must know the challenges of your people to guide them to change. The weight loss contests, walking and hydration challenges alone will not create a shift in mindset and behavior, which is necessary for improved outcomes. Dive deep into your medical claim trends, host focus groups and listen to your team’s subjective feedback and assess what type of programming will best suite the needs of your team.
Attain: If the team isn’t on board, your wellness goals will not be met. Attain buy-in from the top down. The C-Suite team will not only need to buy in to the idea; they’ll need to walk the walk and make sure their managers do the same. Once managers are engaged, their teams will be too! There’s no greater challenge for an organization than to have the CEO provide verbal permission to take part in wellness offerings only to have a direct manager make it clear there’s no time for it in the business day. You’d be surprised how often this happens, and how easily it works against your goals of improved health and productivity.
Action: Be strategic about your wellness programming. Is it meeting the challenges and needs of your people? Most employees are feeling fatigued, have brain fog, often deal with chronic pain in the body, they’re not sleeping well, and they may suffer from depression and anxiety. While the typical programs geared towards weight loss, hydration, and movement might enhance someone’s health, they aren’t going to get to the root cause of the issue or create long-term behavior change. Be strategic, address the key health issues of your team and provide consistent and frequent offerings throughout the year.
Accountability: Track progress, participation and money! Know where your money is going, track participation and benchmark your progress. This will allow you to assess your efforts in a scheduled manner, make necessary updates when needed and achieve your organizational goals. A return on your investment can take a minimum of 3-5 years to achieve. Stay steady, address the root cause of the health challenges your team is facing, be sure you have buy-in across the board, and remain accountable.