A recent article that appeared in Benefits Canada caught my attention. It says that the key to the effectiveness of company wellness programs lie in their ability to be inter-woven into company culture, less tactical, and more akin to safety programs that employees just come to carry out as routine and something that’s regularly expected of them. We at DailyEndorphin wholeheartedly agree with this approach. The other key is to understand and accept that establishing this culture will take time, effort and monetary investment. You will not reap immediate ROI from one initiative, or even a handful of them, in the short term. Just like changing an individuals’ ongoing health, it must be part of that company’s everyday routine.
Here are some key excerpts from the article:
What does work? In Edington’s view, workplace health needs to follow the lead of workplace safety and quality initiatives, which have become enmeshed in corporate culture to the point that nobody questions their necessity. And rather than concentrating resources on people in poor health, he said corporations should focus on their healthiest employees and reward them accordingly. In other words, “help the workplace stay healthy, rather than waiting for defects and then treating [them].”
According to Edington, about 60% of employees are at low risk of major diseases. “What do corporations do for these low-risk people?” he asked. “In most cases, it’s zero. But these people are your champions. Typically, champions are rewarded in business. Why not reward them for health and wellness? These energetic people can lead a change in corporate culture.” For example, he continued, “we might give the nonsmokers a cash bonus and let the smokers figure things out on their own.”
In a nutshell, Edington’s vision is, “Integrate health into the corporate culture so it’s expected and assumed.”
Go read the whole article here. It will most definitely be worth your while if you’re trying to figure out how to best integrate an effective wellness program into your company culture.