Shopping for a corporate wellness company? Make sure to do your homework.
More and more employers are implementing corporate wellness programs in their workplaces. In fact, 98% of companies (with 200+ employees) surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2014 responded that they do offer their staff some type of wellness program. All of this attention on corporate wellness is great – after all, healthy employees are happy, productive employees.
However, as we all know, you can have “too much of a good thing.” And we are reaching that point in the wellness arena.
While greater emphasis is being placed on the health and wellbeing of employees, there seems to be new wellness companies and programs popping up on every corner. For example, a quick Google of “corporate wellness companies in Philadelphia” brings up over 200,000 results! A search result like that can easily intimidate and overwhelm someone looking for the perfect workplace wellness program, so where do you start?
Traits of a Successful Corporate Wellness Program:
- They help you identify your goals and priorities. As with any new endeavor, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. While the best workplace wellness programs are well-rounded, they are also tailored to the specific needs of the workplace in question. A program can have many results – from reduced health costs and fewer sick days, to improved morale and increased productivity. Which area is most important to your current office environment? What does the all-around health of your workplace look like? Should you focus more heavily on “low risk maintenance” (keeping healthy employees healthy) or “high risk intervention” (identifying and engaging unhealthy and at-risk staff)? A good corporate wellness company will help you answer all of these questions.
- They educate and empower. Corporate wellness programs have taken some heat recently with claims that some of their components (such as an emphasis on physical activity that may be challenging for disabled employees or mandatory health screenings) may border discrimination. Researchers stand by voluntary health screenings as a valuable part of any workplace wellness program. They not only serve as a great “jumping-off point” to help develop a program that is tailored towards specific needs, but are also literal life savers. Health screenings identify issues before they become difficult, or impossible, to treat. Take Kevin’s story for example, where a routine screening caught potential cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage:
“I have to tell you this program forced me to get a PSA test, from which I had to have a Prostate biopsy, I find out the results next Monday. I would have never went on my own, hopefully the news is good, but even if it’s not, the Cancer is in its earliest stage, with a 95% survival rate. I owe the Wellworks program for pushing me to have these tests. If anyone questions why they need to do it, feel free to share that story, I’m telling it to all my close co-workers!” – Kevin from The Ames Companies
A good wellness program will not only conduct these screenings, but will provide valuable feedback and a course of action to address any red flags raised by the results.
- They are practical and accessible. Wellness is not “one size fits all,” and we can’t stress enough the importance of finding a corporate wellness company that will “custom fit” a program for your workplace. For instance, implementing a “Bike to Work” policy when your office is surrounded by busy highways may not be the wisest idea (and won’t receive much participation).
While physical activity is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle, a good wellness program goes beyond simply encouraging exercise. A comprehensive program focuses on total wellness. Learning healthy ways to manage and reduce stress is key, as people often reach to unhealthy foods and behaviors such as smoking to handle their stressed out feelings. The best workplace wellness programs meet your employees where they are on their individual roads to health, and then help them along the way. They are not condemning and demanding, but rather, encouraging and cooperative.