Saying Goodbye to Richard Simmons and Spandex and Hello to Results
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- Lowering health insurance claims
- Improving absenteeism rates
- Enhancing employees personal lives
- Reducing workers compensation injuries
- Enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement
- Improving productivity
First and foremost is leadership.When surveying our clients, one of the most common themes among successful wellness programs was buy-in and communication from senior leadership. This is essential, as employees are more apt to participate and get involved if the leadership team leads by example. Take the opportunity to promote the program through letters from the CEO, email campaigns from other leaders in the organization and most importantly, involvement from the senior leaders in the various wellness initiatives the company is offering.
Second is creating a fit with corporate culture.Tying in the culture and philosophy of the organization with the development of the wellness program generates greater participation. The philosophy of one-size-fits-all will not work when structuring your program. You need to answer questions such as:
- What motivates my employees?
- What's the overall culture of our organization?
- What programs have we rolled out in the past that have been successful and which ones have failed?
And third is communication.Communication can come in many different forms, but the key is to incorporate a multi-faceted approach to obtain the return on investment you are seeking as an organization. Employees need an understanding of how the involvement in the wellness program will benefit them individually. Establish an annual communication campaign to relay the incentives, impact on the company and additional wellness initiatives that are forthcoming. Most of all, make the communication fun, interesting and relevant. Engage your marketing team to help devise a theme for your overall wellness program and use the creative and tactical methods you would in an external marketing campaign to generate an internal buzz.
Of course, there is a fourth component that we cant fail to mention, and that is measurement.Once the organization has received commitment from senior leadership, established the philosophy of the program and developed a powerful communication approach, all that remains is to define success. Wellness programs are a long-term commitment by an organization, and sometimes don't impact the bottom line immediately. However, it's important to set both short and long-term goals. Early expectations can be set in terms of employee participation or satisfaction with programs. While later goals can focus on improved health assessment scores, reduced claims costs or increased productivity.
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