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  • September 17, 2020

8 Mistakes Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Make

8 Mistakes Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Make

8 Mistakes Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Make 150 150 Agility Innovation Partners

It’s out with the old and in with the new in 2020. The world around us is changing, forcing companies to shift their business strategy in all aspects. A virtual-friendly environment is a necessary change with the rise of COVID-19. While we try to recover and re-strategize, it’s essential to look back and see what hasn’t been working for us. Now, we’re outlining the 8 common mistakes that companies make with their employee health and wellness programs.

The importance of looking into why corporate health and wellness programs fail is due to the positive and negative repercussions surrounding them. According to The Institute for Healthcare Consumerism, 59% of companies agree that workplace wellness programs help reduce costs. Not having a successful program or lacking one entirely will ultimately come at a higher cost to your company. Stress in the workplace accounts for 20% of direct costs and directly attributed to higher turnover rates, strikes, absenteeism, and work stoppages. Now more than ever, companies are looking into ways that cut costs and keep themselves in business during a global pandemic. This, coupled with the need to stay healthy, is all the more of a reason to focus on your health and wellness program.

Overcomplicating the Program

Creating a user-friendly employee wellness program is vital for its longevity and interaction. When it comes to health and wellness in daily life, all barriers need to be removed entirely. The majority of employees prefer to participate using mobile devices, so ensuring that your program caters to this is essential. The easier it is to engage, the more likely that interaction and positive results will ensue.

Additionally, with the rise in virtual work and virtual fitness, companies should start shifting their wellness program offerings to reflect the shift in their daily operation environment. Employees should still feel empowered and encouraged to make use of their program offerings despite their work environment being at home or the office.

Selling the Wrong Way

When wellness programs become activity-based instead of results-based, we see problems start to arise. Employees who participate in an activity-based wellness program will do just that – participate. Employees will begin to only focus on meeting scattered expectations instead of making positive changes.

In order to see positive results, companies need to change the mindset surrounding their employee wellness program. Collecting data surrounding effects on employee health will allow companies to assess the impact of a program, thus reducing costs. Employees will start to see results just as much as their employer will.

Mistaking a Wellness Website for a Wellness Program

While creating an employee wellness website is essential, it’s really just checking off a box. Inviting your employees to go online and view health articles or videos is not interaction that will drive results.

In addition to having resources accessible, it is essential to encourage the physical action of making a healthy lifestyle choice. Whether it’s choosing a healthy diet, exercising daily, or maintaining work/life balance, remember to promote dynamic action more than static action.

Lack of Leadership Support

When there’s visibility in leadership participation, especially in an employee wellness program, it creates a ripple effect. Leaders talking about their healthy lifestyle or the challenges they’re participating in create a genuine testimony for a wellness program. Employees want to see action, notice results, and feel like they are a part of a supportive community. In order to create these positive changes, action needs start with leadership.

Additionally, creating a wellness committee for employees to be in charge of will develop a sense of ownership. If employees feel like they’re putting their personal mark on the program, it will create a positive persona surrounding it. Further, we are always more invested in the things that we have personally put our time and effort into. Wellness committees can help with company participation, program communication, and generating ideas or suggestions for the existing program.

Not Hiring External Vendors

Sometimes we see that internal employees, often in the HR department, are responsible for heading their wellness program on top of their full-time duties within a company. The lure of saving money and having complete control of the program doesn’t always work out, nor is it useful in the long run. According to the Workplace Health in America 2017 survey, a designated staff person, budget, and experience offering health promotion programs significantly increase the odds of having a comprehensive plan.

A lot more than being a positive cheerleader goes into running your company’s health and wellness program. Training and certification, trial and error period, starting from scratch, and lack of time will ultimately result in the failure of a program. What initially seems to be both cost-effective and autonomous ends up becoming the direct opposite. Hiring externally is always a positive solution for both your leadership department and employees.

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