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Let’s Dust off that mundane Wellness Program

Taryn Johnson-Kline, SHRM-CP

Are you tired of the same ol’ mundane wellness programs?

Weight loss, stress reduction, vaccine clinics, and corporate step challenges, all sounding familiar to you?

While we know these are all truly healthy activities, what you’ll find in traditional wellness programs,
is that the quote un-quote “healthy” employees are the only ones who participate.

Covid Fears Remain

Even though two years have passed, employees remain fearful of COVID-19 in the workplace, fatigued by change, and concerned about the future of work, all while health care costs and accommodations requests continue to rise, employers and employees are searching for ways to keep these costs under control and as manageable as possible. This translates to many employers dusting off their traditional wellness programs and trading them in for something new, and no I don’t mean running out to buy yourself a brand-new pair of Nike’s to get healthy (even though is my favorite hobby).

Improving employee well-being means more than just lacing up those Nikes and stepping on a scale now and again.

Comprehensive well-being programs are designed to help maintain or improve employees’ behavior to achieve better health and to reduce health risk, by warding off health problems or lowering incidence among employees.

The Wellness Wheel Approach

I encourage my clients, to consider a Wellness Wheel approach, a model that features seven elements: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual. Each one of these elements is interconnected and important to living a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle, a key component to a comprehensive health productive management program.

COVID-19 has shaken up our environment, from working at the dining room table, to forgoing the gym and place of worship.  It has also caused social, financial, and emotional distress for many. By offering employees the means and educational tools to take control of their well-being, employers promote a healthier, more productive work environment, providing further support for the correlation between personal health and job satisfaction.

Remember These Three Things

At the end of the day, when implementing any new health and wellness program remember the following:

  • Well-being programs shouldn’t be one-size-fits-most
  • Well-being programs should not only focus on fitness or nutrition.
  • Focusing on more than one element of positive well-being promotes flexibility & choice for your employees.

Taryn Johnson-Kline, SHRM-CP is a subject matter expert in absence and disability management with more than 10 years of professional experience in managing and training professionals to ensure compliance. 

Taryn is the owner of Taryn M Consulting, a human capital consulting firm and is a contributor to the development of IEA’s newly revamped Certified Professional in Disability Management (CPDM) curriculum