Reimagine Employee Wellness

As the second month of the new year begins, we start to look at our success with the resolutions we set for 2012.

For many of us, those commitments to healthy living start to weaken by Super Bowl Sunday.

And, for organizations concerned about employee health, new year’s resolutions are also a challenge to keep, especially if they only talk about wellness as a corporate issue without permitting the communications to get personal.

Take a look at how your organization talks about health and wellness:

How clear are you about who pays for health care? When it comes to wellness, employees need to understand who pays for coverage. Otherwise, they have no context for the discussion. Even today, many people do not seem to get that most companies pay most of the bill while insurance companies only administer the claims. And if employees don’t understand this fundamental, it’s difficult to expect them to understand more.

How consistent is your point of view? When it comes to wellness, many companies are guilty of being “the organization that cried wolf,” of complaining about the rising cost of health care without offering substantive direction to employees about what to do. In order to engage employees in the solution, they must clearly understand the company’s point of view of why it cares about health care, how much it is wiling to do, and what it expects from employees.

How concerned are you about employees? When it comes to wellness, employees are hungry for real concern about them, not just concern pver what their health costs. So the message about wellness must reach beyond the foundation of cost issues to reassure people that they matter, too. We all need where we work to care about who we are. And that is all about our health.

How sincerely do employees believe you care? When employees only hear about health care in terms of money, they begin to wonder if the individual matters. Even those who understand the economics hunger for some degree of personal concern. One way for an organization to balance the message is to talk about employees who feel healthy enough to be present at work. No one wants to be distracted by health concerns; helping workers arrive each day with confidence about how they feel can be good for everyone.

When you communicate health, remember this is a personal issue that becomes corporate. Workers reserve the right to make bad choices unless we help people believe we support the healthy ones. When we talk about wellness, it makes sense to help people understand that everyone wins when people come to work feeling well.

Comments (1)

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  1. Great post! I am a Fitness/Wellness Supervisor at North Hill in Needham. We couldn’t agree with you more! Our Team Members have to know that our concern for their health is more than just how it affects the bottom line. We are personally invested in our team members and show it by providing them with the information and opportunity to pursue healthy lifestyles. Some of the ways we promote Team Member Wellness at North Hill are:
    • On-going job training ensuring Team Members have the tools they need to be productive and safe
    • Continuing education opportunities including C.P.R. certification, lunchtime learning, and tuition reimbursement
    • We celebrate Team Member diversity through Cultural Awareness Days. The most recent was Jamaica Day! We experienced the music and foods of that country much to the delight of all employees
    • And of course, we support Employee Health and Wellness by offering exercise classes, free use of our Fitness Center, and updating an educational table located outside of our Team Member Cafe with current information on a variety of health topics
    • We believe Recreation to be of great value! Hosting Wii Bowling Tournaments, Dart Tournaments and Summer Olympic Competitions have proven to be great fun and bonding experiences for many of our Team Members
    In summary, our Programs and efforts support the belief, as you stated, that helping employees arrive each day to work healthy, happy and confident is good for everyone!

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