Tag Archives: health promotion

Survey: Employers Want More Value in Health and Wellness Programs

Employers are putting a broader focus on the overall value of health management within a workplace, according to the ninth annual Willis Health and Productivity Survey.

Employers offering health and wellness programs are looking beyond the financial bottom line to evaluate success, according to a new study released this month.

Employers are putting a broader focus on the overall value of health management within a workplace, according to the ninth annual Willis Health and Productivity Survey.

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BEST PRACTICES FOR MANAGING FORMAL INCENTIVES THAT DRIVE EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN WORKPLACE WELLNESS AND HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAMS

Discover the latest generation of financial wellness incentives that are seen as an effective way to moderate healthcare cost increases and improve employee well being.

This report will help you and your organization establish best practices in administering your work site wellness program.

Click hear for details: Incentives That Drive Employee Participation in Wellness Programs

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A unit of Willis Group Holdings plc, a global risk advisor, insurance broker and reinsurance broker.

The survey called 2015 a “watershed year” for employer-sponsored health and wellness programs. Willis saw two different mindsets emerging in how organizations approach the measurement of wellness program success.

More organizations are realizing the expectation of an immediate return on investment (ROI) for their wellness programs though medical cost reduction is unlikely, the report states. The survey showed more organizations are focusing on the value of investment (VOI) of a program, which is based on factors that include employee morale, worksite productivity, employee absence and safety.

The survey of 703 respondents showed 64 percent with VOI-focused wellness programs compared to 28 percent with ROI-focused programs.

For full details click here: Employers Want More Value in Health – Wellness Programs

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Wellness Committees Prove Their Value

Workplace wellness committees are important elements of successful workplace health promotion programs, according to the results of a workplace wellness management survey conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor and http://www.WellnessJunction.com.

Almost 75 percent of the survey participants said they have a wellness committee for their organizational programs, and 80 percent said the committees are important for the success of their workplace wellness efforts, the survey revealed.

Feedback

“The feedback the committee members provide is invaluable,” said a wellness program manager. “They represent the employee population and are very plugged in to what they need and want from a workplace wellness department.”

The committee also helps compose wellness information surveys that are circulated among all employee groups; in addition, they assist wellness department members with survey analysis, the manager said.

“We believe it’s important to know what people outside the wellness department are thinking and feeling,” the respondent noted. “We think we know, but the wellness committee often brings other issues to our attention. It’s a good idea to have many minds that are generating ideas. That’s a valuable service.”

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Wellness Committees: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success

90-Minute Workplace Wellness Management Training Program on CD-Rom
Get step-by-step practical ‘how-to’ details; the qualities to look
for in prospective members; insider ideas on how to go about choosing
your wellness committee wisely,  crafting your mission statement, the ground
rules and organizing the early-stage meetings of your committee.

https://www.healthresourcesonline.com/workplace-wellness-/wellness-committees-best-practices-and-proven-strategies-for-success.html
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And the end result is program and process improvement, respondents noted.

“It’s a way for us to hear what others want and need in a wellness program,” said a project leader. “New ideas and suggestions are the things that help us maintain focus.” Continue reading

2014! Resolutions Don’t Come Easy

Happy New Year!

As we head into the New Year people are trying to hang on to their recently made resolutions. However, it is not enough to simply make a resolution; you must be motivated to sticking to it, according to one wellness professional.

Here are four keys to success in keeping resolutions that wellness program managers can share with program participants:

The first key to success is learning how to stay motivated.

“Motivation comes in spurts, so you have to work at keeping it in the forefront of your mind.”

Wellness program managers can help with employee motivation in a number of ways. Continue reading

What Strategies Do You Use To Measure Employee Engagement In Workplace Wellness?

This question was posed by a member of our Workplace Wellness Management Group over on LinkedIn. It’s a good question.

As you know, workplace wellness managers are always concerned about employee participation in programs. So it begs the question – how do you measure employee engagement in workplace wellness programs? So we posted the question on the Wellness Managers’ Discussion Group on Yahoo.

The answers were rich in information and helpfulness:

“I think it is important to first define terms. Are employee engagement and participation being used interchangeably because they can also mean different things,” said a long-time member of the group who has multiple wellness-related certifications.

“Measuring participation is fairly straight forward – the number and percentage of employees who register, attend and complete a multi-session program, as an example, can all be tracked and measured,” he wrote.

“I think measuring engagement is trickier,” he continued. “While there are tools out there to measure employee engagement, I am not sure they specifically address wellness program engagement. As I think about wellness engagement, I am thinking that pre- and post- knowledge testing might be used as a measure of learning engagement, while pre and post changes to individual behaviors might be a measure of engagement from the behavior change perspective. I am sure there are others the list can come up with as well.” Continue reading

Don’t Miss the Boat if there is the Potential for Grant Money for Your Wellness-Health Promotion Program

The key ingredient in starting or expanding a wellness program is mostly about getting the funding for the program.

According to the report “Grant Funding For Wellness and Health Promotion” the kinds of wellness programs being funded include: Continue reading

Are Some Smokers Actually Healthy?

So, Are Some Smokers Actually Healthy?
I am curious…As a wellness professional, do you consider someone who smokes to be healthy, asked a member of our Wellness Manager Discussion Group.

That simple question stirred up quite a debate among the wellness professionals. Continue reading

Moderate Intensity Walking Means 100 Steps Per Minute

The benefits of moderate physical activity to general health and well-being are well known. It is recommended that people engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity, equivalent to 30 minutes each day 5 times a week. Although pedometers are widely used as a physical activity monitoring tool, they are unable to measure activity intensity.

Researchers have determined that a rate of at least 100 steps per minute achieves moderate intensity activity.

Therefore a simple pedometer-based recommendation of 3000 steps in 30 Continue reading

Looking for the Top 10 Best Books for Workplace Wellness Managers

Help us build the “Top 10 Best Books and Resources for Workplace Wellness Professionals.”
Its about time wellness professionals had their own top 10 best book list!
Share the titles of the books that you have found the most useful for developing and managing your workplace wellness program.
http://www.wellnessjunction.com/bestbooks.htm

Measuring the Effectiveness of Workplace Wellness Programs

Worksite-based wellness programs can play an important role in improving the health of Vermont’s employees, according to recent study conducted jointly by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont(BCBSVT) and the University of Vermont for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study sought to determine the relative effectiveness of three worksite wellness programs, and was based on a 30-month research project involving more than two-dozen Vermont employers. Continue reading

Organizational Readiness for Prevention

Interview with Dr. Joel Bennett

Question: What do you mean by “organizational readiness” or “prevention readiness?”

Answer: My quick answer is real behavioral change is Incremental, not Seismic. Readiness refers to the capacity of the organization—especially relevant key players (leaders, wellness coordinators, health champions)—to listen to and proactively respond to the unique health needs of its members. Such responsiveness is driven by the climate of the organization and its openness to change.

There is a  great deal of theory and research on organizational change and, during the 1980s, a whole field of “change management” specialists and consultants came into being and grew. At their best, change strategies are systematic and intentional “planned changes” that enhance or preserve the well-being of a company (efficiency, profits, AND employee health). One insight that came from these efforts is that “off the shelf” programs (learning, training, or otherwise) that come from one company or vendor may be less effective in another setting unless the program is modified or adapted to best fit the new setting.

Put another way, some workplaces are more ready to change than others and, subsequently, more ready to receive, implement, and benefit from wellness program. Your “best fit” is enhanced when you match the program to the readiness level and incrementally “nudge” well-being.

Question: Why is it important for workplaces to consider their level of readiness as part of their workplace health promotion efforts?

Answer: It makes little financial sense to throw money at a problem that is not ready for help. Changes occurs gradually, incrementally. The time you take to understand readiness now will save money later. You think more carefully about where you are spending your money.

Let’s use the analogy of a cigarette smoker but you can refer to any addictive process. (By the way, most of the healthcare costs employers face are due to addictive processes: overeating, tobacco, alcohol, and workaholism). If the smoker is using tobacco at a high rate, say two packs a day, you will have a hard time convincing them to quit completely than if you (a) help him/her identify when and how they can reduce their use, and (b) ask them to tell you why (costs/benefits) they should reduce use—i.e., help them to motivate themselves.

To do so, you – as a coach or therapist – have to discover their own interest in stopping an old (unhealthy) behavior or starting a new (healthy) behavior. This discovery depends upon your ability to listen to their interest in stopping—their needs, desires, values, hopes, etc. If they are in denial, your response (your strategy) will be entirely different than if they are eager to change.

Similar, when it comes to the entire workplace, you run a financial-risk if you just give everyone the same program because it is new, fancy, web-based, colorful, etc.. Many workplaces are realizing that there is no magic bullet. You have to listen to worker needs and motivate them where they are. Readiness levels tell you where they are.

Question:  So, is readiness assessment only useful for those who are just beginning programs?

Answer: Planning is always good. First, workplaces are dynamic; they keep changing. Your readiness can actually change—move forward or backward or follow a cycle.

Remember the change theory I spoke about earlier? Organizations can sometimes “freeze” in their readiness and the best investment is helping them to be more open (“unfreezing”) to receiving programs than in just giving them programs.

We call that capacity building. Second, the workforce is heterogeneous or diverse. Some groups, worksites, departments, stores are more ready than others. In fact, some organizations have a “best practice” unit in wellness that has just naturally evolved without any outside vendor or program. It is always better to tap your own internal resources.

You may have a diamond in the rough. So your assessment should be done on different units. Third, whether you are new or old it is always good to refresh. We sometimes make assumptions that the ways things are are the “way things are” and fail to test our assumptions.

Question: What are the core features of readiness?

Answer: We have identified five core cultural features that we think pertain to any workplace. There are other important features concerning the wellness champion or internal advocate as well, but these five have to do with factors inside the work setting.

First, and most basic, what kinds of resources and materials do you have? This includes budget, space, and communication capacity.

Second, what kind of internal support do you have from leadership and administration? Companies can make the mistake of allocating budget to program materials before they gain senior support as well as coworker attitudes for the program.

Third, is the climate at work proactive or reactive? This goes back to the “change management” ideas and “resistance to change.” Your program will look much different if you already have effective policies in place (e.g., safety, drug-free workplace) that are respected and you face problems head on.

Fourth, adaptability. This is my favorite and it has to do with a willingness to grow, to face challenges, and to experiment.

Fifth, and this ties into the learning and training function: Do supervisors, co-workers, and policies make your workplace a learning organization?

Question: How will assessment benefit the business from an economic perspective? Does this have anything to do with return-on-investment?

Answer: Remember the smoking analogy and where to best leverage your communications. A readiness assessment can help you maximize your return-on-investment because you think more carefully about your current risks and strengths.

If your spending more time and money on materials and resources when you tend to be a very routine-oriented and reactive organization, you may want to re-think where your budget should go and create a phased approach. Spend more time talking to managers about the program, get them on board, have retreats, ask for their input into the program. This could yield a better return in the long-run.

Question: What do you need to do to be most successful with the data you collect in an assessment?

Answer: Action planning and Follow-up. Don’t just leave the data on the shelf. Come back to it 6- and 12-months later. Review the information with leadership and the key players I mentioned earlier.

Ask for their input and create a plan TOGETHER. This is key. If you focus on “meeting folks where they are” and plan accordingly, success will come. This will be more effective than just blindly launching a campaign.

In fact, campaigns can hurt you because workers may feel you are not really paying attention to their needs and feel you are coming “form left field.” You can generate more resistance. So, success comes from care and attention paid to “what is” – your current level of readiness.

Editor’s Note:  Joel B. Bennett is President of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107  817.921.4260 www.organizationalwellness.com

Dr. Bennett will present an educational program “Organizational Readiness For Workplace Wellness: Are You Ready? Thursday, August 19, 2010, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EDT

For details on the program visit: http://www.healthresourcesonline.com/edu/Organizational-Workplace-Wellness.htm

The program has been organized by the Wellness Management Information Center.