The Secret Sauce of Extraordinary Worksite Wellness Programs
Posted Sep 24 2012 11:19am
“The purpose of worksite wellness is not to change people, but to change the culture.” -Dr. Dee Edington
According to a recent employer survey from Towers Watson , the top focus area of employers' health care strategy in 2013 is to develop a workplace culture where employees are accountable and supported for their health and well-being.
Is creating a supportive culture top on your list? If not, it definitely should be. Research shows that only 20% of employee lifestyle change attempts are successful. But a supportive environment which promotes the health and well-being by "making the healthier choice, the easier choice" can help increase the success rates.
According to Dr. Dee Edington , one of the foremost researchers and advocates for worksite wellness, a supportive culture is the most important element in behavior change. Culture is multi-dimensional. Culture is shaped by everything that happens at your workplace - policies, leadership styles, unspoken rules, employee recognition, and the physical environment.
So how do you move toward a culture of health? Here are the five essential ingredients to creating an environment that supports healthy behavior:
Leadership and commitment
A comprehensive set of programs
Ongoing promotion and communication
Use of incentives (both carrots and sticks)
Participation and outcome metrics
Culture can be the difference maker, between success and failure, to changing long-term healthy behavior. Companies will be successful when they focus on supporting employees to change rather than trying to "fix them".