The majority of wellness professionals thought last year was a better year for their programs, according to the Workplace Wellness Management Leadership Survey conducted by the Wellness Program Management Advisor in conjunction with WellnessJunction.com.
Executives were asked whether 2008 was a better year for their programs than the previous year 75.4 percent said it was and only 15.8 percent said it was not.
Maureen Barte, assistant coordinator of the Health and Wellness Institute at the Washington Hospital, agreed 2008 was a better year and added “this is year four of our employee wellness program and the employees are becoming more accustomed to stopping into our offices and joining different programs that are always on-going.”
Another executive said it was a better year “because the outcome measures are becoming more sophisticated and we are planning for expansion.”
A manager of organizational health and well-being said there was “a lot more support and recognition by executives of the importance of health and productivity.”
For Jason J. Paul of the LifeCore Group, 2008 was also better. He said, “many companies are learning that taking a one-time health analysis does not really create any long-term change.”
Another executive said in 2008 “the [wellness] program was all inclusive. Meaning we ensured consistency throughout the organization’s 17 regional locations. Each site has a wellness coordinator with monthly wellness team steering committee meetings and support.
“The company also dedicated significant budget dollars to support the program. Incentives are being used to gain participation.”
Daniel M. Moriarty, human resources manager for Jewish Geriatric Services Inc., said “By engaging the employees we were able to provide programs that they had an actual interest in and felt some ownership in the programs.”
For Gary Morriston, director of human resources at the Howard Training Center, 2008 was better. “United Healthcare/PacificCare became our health benefits carriers and brought an excellent wellness template that we are able to implement on a low budget but with high impact.”
Another respondent said, “By tying our benefits/wellness together, we realized where we needed to drive our programing going forward into 2009. We had a plan instead of scattered efforts at guessing what was working and what was not.”
Not all respondents agreed. For one executive it was not a better year because of the “administration’s emphasis on online programs which are less effective/interactive than traditional classes. [It is] harder to measure outcomes [and we] don’t have the secondary gain of team building and support in the work environment.”
A paricipant also thought 2008 was a worse year and put the blame on less money and more turnover. “Wellness is not at the forefront of our worries, or at least it doesn’t seem to be.”
“Fewer employees participated in our free wellness screening,” said an executive who felt that 2008 was not a better year.
No – 15.8 percent
Unanswered – 8.8 percent
Source: Wellness management Leadership Survey, Wellness Program Management Advisor, and Wellness Junction Professional Update www.wellnessjunction.com