Tag Archives: workplace wellness program management

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

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Workplace Wellness Certificate Tells the World You Know Your Stuff

Editor’s Note: This article is one of the most read posts on Wellness Manager.

A certification program raises the professional stature of the profession. A ‘certified’ manager in any profession is generally worth more money in the marketplace.

It is a credential that could mean the difference in competing for or getting a job.

It tells the hiring manager that you worked harder than the other person to earn the certificate. Generally, only a percentage of the profession will rise to hold the certificate.

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Secrets to Wellness and Health Promotion ROI: How Successful Managers Attract and Motivate Increased Participation in Their Programs PDF Format
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The National Wellness Institute and WebMD launched a five level Certification Program for Worksite Wellness practitioners.

Larry Chapman, a well known and highly regarded expert consultant on wellness and health promotion, has been serving as the trainer for the certification classes held in conjunction with the annual National Wellness Institute program.

Each level requires two full days of training and successful completion of a Challenge Exam. Each level is focused on twelve different key skills critical to the design and implementation of a successful employee wellness program, according to the program description.

Level I Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC) is designed for organizations with fewer than a thousand employees. Level II Certified Wellness Program Manager (CWPM) is for organizations with 1,000 to 10,000 employees.

Level III Certified Wellness Program Director (CWPD) is for organizations with more than 10,000 employees. Level IV Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant (CWWPC) can then work with any size organization.

The Level V Certified Worksite Wellness Professional (CWWP) is for any size organization plus ten (10) years of progressively more challenging program management and authorship of a recent related peer review article on worksite wellness.

For information on the Worksite Wellness professional certification program visit the National Wellness Institute: http://www.nationalwellness.org/?page=CWP

Web-Based Health Promotion Program, Specially Designed For Truck Drivers

A fairly new program incorporating Web-based education is improving the health outcomes of truck drivers – a prime example of “lone workers,” according to results of a study.

Lone workers are at a special risk for poor diet due to limited healthy food choices, opportunities for exercise, and limited access to workplace wellness programs.

Truck drivers face the specific risks of obesity, diabetes, and traffic risks, according to Ryan Olson, PhD, and colleagues at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland who conducted the study.

After six months enrolled in the program, truckers reduced their weight by nearly eight pounds, on average, and improved their diets by reducing consumptions of fats and sugars, according to the study findings. An increase in physical activity was also noted. Continue reading

Are You Making the Most of Your Wellness Committee?

Workplace wellness and health promotion professionals agree that the heart of a successful wellness program lies in a dynamic wellness committee.

A couple of days ago a member of our Linkedin Workplace Wellness Management Group asked this question of group members: “While forming a wellness committee, do you have candidates apply to participate? Should candidates fit certain criteria? How do you ensure that you are capturing appropriate committee members?”

All good questions that shows that the member aims to build a successful wellness program.

Regarding candidates meeting certain criteria the committee should have a good Continue reading

What Wellness Program Incentive Awards Focus On

Participation, the number that creates the biggest smiles among workplace wellness managers, is the primary focus of their incentive programs, according to the majority of wellness managers who have responded to the “Workplace Wellness Management Survey on Incentives” over the years and conducted by Institute for Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion.

As incentive awards programs become more sophisticated, wellness managers are shifting the primary goals of their awards programs. For example, completion of a health risk appraisal (HRA) has jumped Continue reading

Collaboration Key To A Successful Wellness Program

Strategic planning and collaboration are keys to executing a successful corporate wellness program, according to Mike Wenadka, employee wellness manager at ConAgra Foods.

ConAgra Foods, as Wenadka explained, is a company that produces and markets such brands as Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Healthy Choice, Pam, Hunts and Swiss Miss, among other brands.

The company has approximately 20,000 employees in addition to 10,000 spouses, which are included as eligible for the wellness program. Continue reading

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.

National Employee Wellness Program Participation Numbers

An average 19 percent of employees participate in programs administered by wellness managers who are either subscribers to Wellness Program Management Advisor, or members of the WellnessJunction.com online community.

Employee Participation Rates In Workplace Wellness Programs

* Average Employee Participation — 19%

* Corporate Programs — 22%

* Hospital Programs — 12.5%

Source: Workplace Wellness Management Survey, copyright Wellness Program Management Advisor

A caveat for wellness professionals, these numbers were gathered in 2004. As a result, it can be assumed that participation rates have changed. To determine that, the Wellness Management Information Center is mounting a new survey focused on participation in programs.

There have been other surveys in recent years on the topic of employee participation in wellness programs. But some of those surveys were among employees. The Wellness Program Management Advisor survey was among professional wellness managers whose duties include tracking participation.

The managers reported participation rates that ranged from a low of three percent to a high of 55 percent of total employees, our Workplace Wellness Management Survey found.

In some instances, rates are higher depending on the type of program being offered, a manager said.

Employee participation in wellness programs at one airline was reported at 18 percent, our survey found. And another manager reported “marketing some programs to families.”

For the most part, corporate wellness programs reported greater participation, ranging from 5 percent to 55 percent, the Wellness Program Management Advisor poll found.

The average participation rate among corporate programs is 22 percent, our survey found.

Hospital rates ranged from 10 percent to 25 percent of employees. There were too few participants from the university or government sectors to be included in the calculations.

Address: Wellness Program Management Advisor, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite S 200, Manasquan, NJ 08736; (732) 292-1100, http://www.wellnessjunction.com

Understanding Audience Is Key To Incentive Program Success, Say Wellness Professionals

The key to designing a strong wellness incentive program is about “knowing your audience,” wellness management professionals said, according to the results of a workplace wellness management survey conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor and WellnessJunction.com.

“I believe incentives can work, but you need to ‘know your audience,’” said an operations manager of a corporation responsible for the health promotion program, which offered incentives ranging from T-shirts, to drawings for iPods or airline tickets. “Providing them with a generic incentive doesn’t always motivate them. If you offer them ‘things’ that they don’t need or want, you won’t see any effect.”

And despite the trend in offering cash-based incentives (67.8 percent), the manager said that incentives do not have to be extravagant. “I’ve seen people be motivated by just receiving stickers on a hanging cut-out just because the reward is visible to others they work with.”

Another respondent also said she believes that incentives cannot be implemented blindly to employees.

“Incentives should be strategically given. If an incentive is always expected with little effort, it does not have the same impact overall,” said Paola Ball, fitness and wellness manager at an education institution focused on employee wellness. “Moreover, it is important for people to be driven by their own commitment as a result of the successful marketing of a wellness program and through encouragement by other staff members.”

“This promotes community and support for long- term behavior change,” Ball continued. “I havefound that some of the most successful programs have been those that do not put the emphasis on the prize, rather the emphasis is placed on congratulating participants for their commitment to wellness and their own health. Fun is also an essential component to a wellness program. If activities are looked at as a ‘fun thing to do’ instead of an imposed behavior change, people are more willing to sign up and try new things.”

Another survey respondent suggested that programs should urge the employees to see their self-improvements as the ongoing incentive.

“In my experience, people are initially motivated by the incentives and later excited and encouraged by the changes they see in themselves,” said Shelly Beall, a self-employed wellness professional.

The Wellness Management Leadership survey on incentives for participation in wellness programs was conducted online among wellness professionals and subscribers to Wellness Program Management Adviser, The Wellness Junction Professional Update and members of the Wellness Managers Professional Discussion Group.

Source: Wellness Program Management Advisor www.wellnessjunction.com

www.healthresourcesonline.com/wellness/18nl.htm