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How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Hector De La Torre and Ron Goetzel, Ph.D. delineate the practices that ruin wellness programs from the ones that make them succeed. The difference is costly.

Don’t Do These

Administering health risk assessments to employees is a waste of time if they are not followed up with tools and strategies that actually help them improve their health. Likewise, offering financial incentives for employees to change their habits has a high risk of backfiring and incurring unintended responses, so shy away from that. Another thing not to do is to hire a bunch of different vendors to tackle different aspects of wellness without considering how they all come together for a comprehensive strategy. In fact, even short-term wellness campaigns like pedometer challenges have not been shown to produce meaningful results.

Do These

Wellness programs are a case where success starts at the top. Leaders must speak about the health and strategic value of such programs and lead by example. The company culture must shift to accommodate the full spectrum of employee needs—physical, social, emotional, career, and financial. Collect regular survey feedback to determine which sorts of initiatives will best support your workforce. Then agree upon metrics, however difficult that may be, to determine if the program is working as intended. And if you know this program you have built is great, then get the word out to every employee about what makes it so great for the individual and the business. Lastly, in lieu of “external incentives” like money, think about how to offer “internal” incentives to get with the program. Internal incentives are the ones that allow a person to rationally believe that a behavior is sustainable.

For further insights and examples, you can view the full article here: https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-design-a-corporate-wellness-plan-that-actually-works

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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