Employee Wellness Programs

Employee Wellness Programs: Challenges To Remember

Among the most frustrating Employee Wellness Program challenges you will find is staff member participation. Primarily, lack of staff member participation in company-sponsored employee wellness programs is due to lack of communication and understanding of what the employee wellness programs objectives are. Staff members should be educated about the expectations of the initiative, why they should get involved, and how the collected information is being utilized.

Once upper management has decided to provide funding and support for wellness services, workers should be involved in future decision made about how the initiative will be composed. Ideas include involvement in the wellness committee and vendor selection process.

Allowing workers to be involved also provides them with the knowledge to take back to other workers to help promote the initiative and it's objective. Staff members that have expressed enthusiasm and support will help start a positive atmosphere for wellness. They will also be good candidates for "wellness champions" as they'll be excited about organizing, designing, and implementing initiatives that will attract interest. Employee interest surveys conducted provide wonderful insight as to why workers have doubts about participating in employee wellness programs.

Here are several of the most common reasons why staff member participation in employee wellness programs is low.

  • They cost money for workers (depending on the type of Employee Wellness Program offered)
  • Inconvenient times available to workers to participate
  • Concerns over who is reviewing the health and health information collected by the Employee Wellness Program
  • The purpose of the Employee Wellness Program is not properly outlined
  • Lower level management cannot convey the advantages of the Employee Wellness Program to the workers under their authority
  • The benefits to the corporate and how the Employee Wellness Program can affect the workers is not properly identified. Staff members feel as the company is trying to intervene into their personal lives and they perceive it as a violation of their rights as an staff member.

Before initiating your health risk appraisal it is a good idea to survey your staff member populations interests. This way you will be prepared to make decisions based on the results of the survey. Want help with starting an interest survey for your workers? Contact Me for additional assistance!

Staff members who are considered to be high-risk and in need of support for behavior change, are frequently not interested in participating in the Employee Wellness Program either. While it is important to keep the healthy people healthy, it is also important to focus much attention on those that have real need. High risk workers are those that tend to have more health risk factors or those that have already contracted a chronic disease or illness.

These workers should be informed and assured that participation in the employee wellness programs offered are only to help them lower their risk and improve their quality of life. 80 percent of health costs come from 20 percent of the workplace's population so making sure that these people participate in your employee wellness programs is key to your success.

Actively pursue people that would be less likely to participate in employee wellness programs, have the greatest need and are willing to be an advocate for wellness. The style in which you communicate your Employee Wellness Program can also start Employee Wellness Program challenges for your company. Every staff member has numerous ways in which they understand, process, and internalize new information so be certain to decide the most common ways in which workers will learn best.

Your Employee Wellness Program could include numerous learning modes including auditory, traditional group classes and presentations, self-report/administered, or even internet-based these days. A successful Employee Wellness Program is one that offers workers many types of opportunities to learn and participate in the employee wellness programs offered.

Another wellness challenge that many corporations face, especially those with multiple shifts, is being able to offer the same type of employee wellness programs for all workers including shift workers. Many workers frequently will not participate simply because they are not able to because of lack of opportunity. Allowing workers to participate during work hours and scheduling enough opportunities to participate will help you eliminate quite a few issues later.

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Employee Wellness Programs: Support Staff and Resources

The second most frustrating health promotion challenge that corporations face is lack of sufficient staff resources to begin, develop, and maintain a successful Employee Wellness Program. Often times corporations will designate Human Resources Managers or Benefits Coordinators to manage the Employee Wellness Program on top of their full-time job.

This causes a lot of stress for these people because they already have a full-time job and can't devote their full attention to the initiative, especially not as much time as it needs to be successful. Employers that are serious about wellness and locate the most return on investment are those that hire or designate a fulltime position to a wellness coordinator or manager.

These people are responsible for the daily operations, collecting data, coordinating employee wellness programs, and increasing staff member knowledge about the Employee Wellness Program. Another option for corporations is to locate and hire an independent wellness vendor to manage and implement your Employee Wellness Program.

This includes your Health Risk Appraisals, health screenings, health & wellness coaching, and other educational opportunities. You can also look into local community hospitals or medical care organizations that might also offer staff member health educational opportunities for your workers.

Make sure to research your options and locate the best fit for your company.

Employee Wellness Programs: Finding Funding

Another wellness challenge is funding for employee wellness programs. "How much is this going to cost us?" is generally the first question that members of upper management will ask when approached for support of a Employee Wellness Program.

One of the biggest Employee Wellness Program challenges that corporations face is finding enough funds to support employee wellness programs. Even though employee wellness programs don't have to be expensive in order for them to produce positive returns, there does however should be some funds allotted to programming. One of the first steps in getting a Employee Wellness Program started is gaining complete upper management support.

If an company is truly supportive of employee wellness programs then members of upper management will help remove barriers by providing funding, support, and will also be actively involved in the Employee Wellness Program. Funding is always a tough issue especially in our current economy but corporations must understand that value of what a Employee Wellness Program can bring to the table.

Focus on early detection and prevention can help save thousands of dollars a year. For instance, there is about a $100,000 cost difference between detecting prostate cancer early versus late treatment. The cost savings there alone allows for implementation of a pretty comprehensive Employee Wellness Program.

Staff members must also see members of upper management actively involved in the Employee Wellness Program. It's one thing to talk but it is quite another to walk the walk. Invite members of management to serve on a wellness committee in addition to a variety of other workers.

Understanding the challenges that you will face before starting a Employee Wellness Program is important to your success. Being aware of them and designing a game plan ahead of time will ensure that you are prepared for whatever lies ahead. For a free wellness program consultation - please Contact Us