Four Tips For Creating A Wellness Program That Works!

Four Tips For Creating A Wellness Program That Works!

Over the years as I’ve worked with clients in designing their wellness programs, I’ve had the opportunity to address the key health challenges that so many organizations face when it comes to creating a culture of wellness in the workplace. People often don’t realize how much wellness affects the bottom line of an organization. But whether it’s rising insurance claims, productivity at work or absenteeism, wellness is no longer a topic that can be overlooked. Thankfully, many of the most successful global companies are addressing wellness and looking for solutions outside of traditional corporate wellness programs and speakers; they recognize the importance of equipping employees to take ownership of their careers, their lives, and their performance at work.

It’s encouraging to see that many organizations are recognizing the necessity of addressing wellness with their company. I’ve had the privilege of partnering with companies like Salesforce, United Airlines, and Marriott among many others who are creating a culture of health within their organizations and in turn, doing work with widespread impact.

If you’re feeling like it’s time for a wellness upgrade and you want to start creating a wellness program that really gets results, here are four principles to consider:

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.

Today I challenge you to consider how you’re defining wellness. It’s not simply about limiting your trips to the drive-thru or steering clear of the candy jar at the office. Wellness encompasses two main areas that I like to call Table Food and Life Food. Table food of course has to do with the foods we eat to nourish our body. Life Food has to do with the choices we make outside of food that fuel us. This includes relationships, finances, spirituality, movement, and much more. Both of these areas play a huge role in health. Are there areas that you may be neglecting that are impacting your overall health?

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