Wellness in the Workplace
Companies that cater for well-being of their employees always develop wellness plans as part of their strategy to enhance competitiveness. Considering the improvement that would be realized in the productivity of employees and the time employees spend at their workplaces, it pays to establish a workplace wellness program. Having a wellness program in the company improves employee morale, in addition to saving on healthcare costs. Organizations should endeavor to incorporate wellness program in their organizational culture since it improves employee output and minimize turnover.
A workplace wellness program should be objective and all-inclusive to meet the desires of all employees. The wellness program should correspond with the company’s mission, value, and customs (Putnam, 2015). Developing a strategic wellness program requires companies to follow seven steps that cater for comprehensive needs of employees.
According to WELCOA (Wellness Council of America), the first step in establishment of the wellness program is to gain the approval from the senior management (Duncan, 2014). This stage involves convincing the management of the benefits accrued from the wellness program so that the program can receive adequate funds. The program should demonstrate the connection between health promotion and the company’s goals and values.
The second step involves creating a team that would oversee the wellness program. The team should incorporate employees from all levels in the organization’s pecking order to augment responsiveness of all employees. The team can also incorporate outsiders, who are competent on matters of health and medical practices.
The third step incorporates collection of data with an aim of driving health efforts. Collection of data assists in evaluating health interests, as well as risks, that employees perceive as essential in their daily operations. Health risk assessments can be carried out to determine the health risks among employees.
The fourth step entails designing an operation plan. A well-developed wellness plan should how the program will roll out, as well as how it will be sustained for long-term achievements (Stephens, 2015). The program should demonstrate its capacity to attain both short-term and long-term goals. The plan should express needs, attitudes, as well as preferences for employees.
The fifth step accounts for the choice of appropriate interventions. The program should demonstrate the desires for both employees and the management in attaining wellness. The program should indicate resources that are required to accomplish a specific goal while the goals should be realistic.
The sixth step involves creation of a supportive environment, which offers employees an opportunity to enjoy rewards, as well as motivate them to work hard. Company’s management should initiate models that enhance healthy eating behavior. Additionally, employees should be involved when designing models to reward and promote desirable behavior.
The last step considers consistent evaluation of outcomes. The team should monitor the progress of the wellness program, in addition to gathering positive information that keeps the program running. Evaluation enables companies to appreciate goals achieved, in addition to making changes that would make the program more effective.
Some of the companies that have well established wellness programs include Google, IBM, American Express, Virgin, Johnson & Johnson, Mayo Clinic, and American Specialty Health. For Johnson & Johnson, the wellness program corresponds to the classic model that incorporates assessment, feedback, follow-up evaluation, as well as incentives to promote participation (Putman, 2015). Johnson & Johnson has managed to save $565 per employee while realizing $3.92 as a return on investment from every dollar that is invested in the wellness program. For Google, employees are provided with insurance and emergency services whenever they travel for work or fun. Google believes that for employees to perform well, they must be passionate about their health.
Duncan, I. G. (2014). Managing and evaluating healthcare intervention programs. Winsted, CT: ACTEX Publications, Inc.
Putnam, L. (2015). Workplace wellness that works: 10 steps to infuse well-being and vitality into any organization.
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Stephens, D. (2015). Getting Started: Developing a Benefits Philosophy That Supports Wellness. Plans & Trusts, 33(5), 16-20.