15 Mistakes That Can Totally Mess Up Your Wellness Program
Posted Jan 10 2013 3:02pm
Starting a worksite wellness program has its challenges. Worksite wellness programs succeed for just as many reasons as they fail. It's up to you to make it happen, and it's not as hard as you may think. Simple steps make all the difference, especially when it comes to successful wellness programs.
Here are 15 mistakes we've seen health promotion professionals make that have the potential to totally mess with the effectiveness of your corporate wellness program.
No Formal Plan Without a formal strategic plan, your wellness program will simply drift, and will always be reacting to the pressure of the day instead of focusing on specific objectives.
Lack of Staff For the employee wellness program to run smoothly one person should be responsible for coordinating the program. This person should be committed to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Poor Management Support Leaders play important roles in creating environments that support wellness. Management should be visible participants in the program.
Failure to Engage High Risk Employees If high risk employees have the majority of the health issues, they should be the most targeted individuals. These employees should be a priority.
Inadequate Communication Without question, the wellness programs that achieve the greatest success are the ones aggressively communicated. Communication must start early and continue often.
Not Positioning Wellness Program Correctly Too often wellness programs are just an "HR project" and really should be positioned as a culture change and something that is critical to the success of the company.
Unrealistic Expectations Behavior change takes time. Transforming a culture is hard work. Conventional wisdom is to not expect a positive ROI for at least 18 months.
Not Collecting Data To create a wellness program that fits your company you have to collect data on your employees' health status.
No Money Wellness programs can be low-cost, but not no cost. Make sure you have at least a minimal budget. Be creative in identifying other funding sources.
Pointless Programing A smoking cessation program, for example, will do little to impact the bottom line if smoking and its related illnesses are not cost drivers for you health care plan.
Zero Employee Engagement Weak employee engagement is one of the biggest obstacles to changing employees’ health. By branding your wellness program you can create an emotional connection at every touchpoint.
Ineffective Partnering You can't do everything by yourself. Recruit people for a wellness committee who want to help develop a culture of wellness. Partner with as many employees and departments as you can.
Equal Access Shift workers should have the same access to the wellness and health promotion program as the day shift.
Too Complicated If employees don't understand wellness offerings or don’t know how to participate, they won't engage. Like the age-old mantra, “Keep it simple, stupid,” this is good advice to follow when developing your wellness program.
Not Addressing Employee Privacy Some employees may ask, "What do they need that information for? Why do they need to know my cholesterol?" Stress early and often that health status information is confidential.
What other mistakes can you make that will damage your corporate wellness program? Share them in the comments so we can all learn to avoid these treacherous wellness program pitfalls.