Whether you are initiating a new comprehensive workplace wellness program, or you are reviewing how effective your current program is, consider these questions when designing your employee wellness program:
1. What will happen or continue to happen and how much will it cost if we do not invest in wellness?
2. What programs do we currently have and are they working?
3. What programs would meet more of the needs of our employees?
4. What outcomes are we hoping for or why are we willing to invest in wellness?
5. What can we realistically afford to invest?
What will happen or continue to happen and how much will it cost if we do not invest in wellness?
Action: Examine current data to gather information on absenteeism, job turnover, quality, accidents, grievances, health benefits usage, compensation claims, and long-term disability. This data will give you an idea of how the current level of employee wellness is impacting your company’s bottom line.
What programs do we currently have and are they working?
Action: Pull together all of the programs that your company has in place that have an impact on the way a person functions in their job.
This includes not only traditional areas of:
• Health Monitoring
• Health Benefits
but also includes areas of:
• Training And Development In Leadership
• Reward And Recognition
• Conflict And Problem Solving
• Team Building.
By pulling all of these areas together and binding them to an overall employee wellness program you will be able to more effectively gain buy-in for additional programs.
To assess if these programs are working and to gain a better understanding of what additional programs may be beneficial, it is important to do an employee wellness survey. The questions can be tailored to assess what is currently working, what signs of a lack of wellness are particularly bothersome or pervasive and what helping programs may be beneficial.
What programs would meet more of the needs of our employees?
Action: Once you have delivered the assessment survey, the data needs to be examined for trends and evidence. With this information you are ready to start the process of determining what wellness programs may be beneficial. Programs may address sources of stress, particular symptoms or organizational issues. At this point a committee, which reflects all of the people in the organization, should be established to brainstorm potential programs.
When brainstorming the options consider the following five principles from:
Health Canada’s Comprehensive Workplace Health System
1. Programs meet the needs of all employees, regardless of their current level of health
2. Programming recognizes the needs, preferences and attitudes of different groups of participants
3. An individual’s lifestyle is made up of an interdependent set of health habits
4. Programs need to be adaptable to the special features of each workplace
5. Wellness programming works best when there is strong support for an overall health policy
Applying The Nine Processes Of Change To Wellness Programming
When putting together a comprehensive wellness program, it is valuable to look at strategies that will ensure the changes in behaviour that are desired.
The following nine points are from Stage Theory (Procheska et. al) and may also be useful in developing your comprehensive wellness program. Areas of concern can be addressed in a variety of ways to achieve your desired results.
Nine Processes Of Change
1. Consciousness-Raising – intellectual awareness of desired behaviours
2. Social Liberation – company supports for new behaviours
3. Emotional Arousal – possible teaching moments around desired behaviours
4. Self-Re-evaluation – development of incongruence between self view and non-desired behaviour
5. Commitment – individual accepts responsibility for change
6. Countering – finding positive alternatives to the non-desired behaviour
7. Environmental Control – individual re-structures their environment in order to minimize choice of non-desired behaviour
8. Rewards – positive recognition of choosing desired behaviours
9. Helping Relations – development of a strong social network to ensure maintenance of desired behaviour
What outcomes are we hoping for or why are we willing to invest in wellness?
“When the workplace consists of a culture that values worker health and psychological needs, the potential for increased productivity and improved well-being is enhanced.” Peterson
‘Health’ is the extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations, satisfy needs and to change or cope with their environment. (World Health Organization)Click to tweet
‘Health promotion’ is the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. (American Journal of Health Promotion) ‘Optimal health’ is defined as a balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health.
Action: Effective programs deal not only with the physical aspects of health but with all aspects of optimal health. Health is influenced by life circumstances, beliefs, actions, culture, and by social, economic and physical environments. It is important that you have very clear goals for your wellness program and a method for determining how well you are doing on these goals. Proper evaluation methods will give more credibility to your plans.
What can we realistically afford to invest?
Action: Once you have put together options for your wellness programs you need to develop your budget and ROI. Take into account the money already being spent on existing programs (especially those not currently considered under your wellness ‘umbrella’) and what is needed to carry out further programs.
Do you need someone to work with your leaders on developing a supportive culture?
If so, Beverly Can Provide This Training. Please feel free to call and discuss the details at: 705-786-0437
Revised from Original Post 2003
Have you employed the critical questions to your wellness program?
Is wellness important to your decision makers?
Are you measuring ROI?
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!