The Ins and Outs of Holistic Corporate Wellness Programs

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With all the discussions about how healthy employees make for cheaper corporate healthcare costs, more and more companies have been incorporating wellness programs to their lists of employee “benefits”. In more extreme cases, however, employers have been implementing holistic programs to cover all aspects of their employees’ health. Though we have all heard a variety of success stories from company’s wellness programs in the past, many actually tend to fail due to the lack of proper implementation and dedication from the team. See our comments below for more details.


Goals Need to be Clearly Defined

Many companies go into these types of programs with all the right intentions, they want to save costs AND promote employee wellness simultaneously. Accomplishing one of these goals on their own can be very challenging, let alone both.

As any other business decision or acquisition, to monitor success, you must measure the project or acquisition’s Return on Investment (ROI). If the goal is to save long-term healthcare costs, then the measurement process should be to look at the money you spent on the wellness program, weigh it with the money spent on the healthcare costs previously, and determine whether the return (savings) was worth the investment. However, if the goal of the wellness program is to increase employee welfare, some methods to measuring success could be to conduct a company-wide survey to measure employee happiness, productivity, and overall well-being in respect to your new wellness program.


Holistic Programs Take Much More Deliberation

While a program that attempts to nurture an employee’s physical, mental, and social health sounds like a no-brainer on paper, these types of programs are challenging to run and upkeep. Some motivated employees make volunteer to help administrate the program internally, but when this responsibility is added on top of their already full job, it may become a problem for them.

That said, we recommend using an already well-established program with clear and easy-to-follow instructions and hiring a dedicated personal trainer to assist your team in a seamless implementation. The last thing you want from your new corporate fitness program is to have employees more stressed out from fear of failure than they were before starting the program. With any luck, your program is managed well and adopted with a community accountability policy.


Leadership Support is Key

If your Organizational Behavior course in business school taught you anything, it is that culture comes from leadership. Whether that leadership comes from the Executive Team or the office influencers, the leaders in your organization will set the tone for the change that you hope to see in your company. For that reason, it is important for you to recognize the leaders in your company and make sure that they are on-board with your new company program.

If you find yourself in the leadership position, start off by thinking, “Can I fully commit to this program myself?” If the answer is no, then you can’t expect any of your employees to be able to commit either. Next, think realistically about the long-term implementation of this employee benefit. Is this some quick and fun team building activity? Or do you see this as a legitimate perk of employment at your company? Answering yes to either of these questions is perfectly fine, but be wary that with whatever this program’s lifespan is going to be, comes a responsibility to you as a leader to implement and fully support.


The Active Executive

The Active Executive is the company of San Diego Corporate Fitness Trainer, Kyle Valery. Valery specializes in working with companies to train their employees and helping them reach their fitness goals. If you’re looking to transform your company’s culture to be more health-conscious, look no further than The Active Executive.