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Dear Workforce How Do We Measure the Effectiveness of Our Wellness Program?

Dear Doing Well:

Most organizations focus their wellness initiatives almost exclusively on health issues. They provide a variety of “one size fits all” interventions such as biometric screening, nutrition programs, “lunch ‘n learns,” and so on. Although such programs are valuable, we believe organizations would benefit from a shift in thinking—one that includes a more holistic view of well-being.

This broader definition should encompass physical health, organizational factors and employee engagement. Senior executives will pay attention to well-being when it is viewed as “the economic capacity and capability of an individual,” and is accompanied by robust dashboard reporting that identifies causal factors and links to business strategy (always maintaining individual confidentiality).

Organizations that promote employee health and well-being are 3½ times more likely to encourage creativity and innovation, according to research by Right Management. Fewer than half of the 28,000-plus employees who took part in the worldwide study said their organizations actively promoted health and wellness. This is in spite of the fact that persuasive evidence exists that health and well-being contribute to greater employee engagement, organizational productivity, talent retention, and creativity and innovation.

Seventy-two percent of respondents who rated their organization highly for actively promoting health and well-being also rated it highly for encouraging creativity and innovation. Conversely, among those who gave their organizations low grades on health and wellness, only 20 percent say those organizations encourage innovation and creativity.

The top five drivers cited by employees as promoting health and well-being are:

1. I work in a safe and healthy environment.

2. My organization allows me to maintain a reasonable balance between my family and work life.

3. You can balance work and personal interests at my organization and still progress.

4. I have an appropriate workload.

5. The amount of pressure I experience in my role is reasonable.

Creativity and innovation enable organizations to meet rapidly changing business conditions and make the most of new opportunities. The potential of wellness initiatives is realized when wellness is embedded in your organization’s business strategies. It is linked to talent acquisition, employee branding and overall people strategy.

Focus on getting results by driving the behaviors that improve your organization’s effectiveness. It is a game changer, both for individual employees and the organization itself.

SOURCE: Bram Lowsky, executive vice president, Americas, Right Management, Toronto

LEARN MORE: Social networks are one of the newest trends in how some companies promote wellness.

Workforce Management Online, July 2011Register Now!

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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