While wellness programs are essential to help drive down health costs, improve employee engagement, and reduce unplanned days off, it is critical to recognize that wellness will not thrive in isolation. The program must exist within and around a genuine culture of wellness supported by an organization’s senior leadership. The program should include tools and services that will surround participants with healthy-living support, creating an employee wellness ecosystem.
Participants need a working knowledge of the HOW and the WHY of behavioral change. Education and learning opportunities must be accessible, relevant to participants’ specific needs and interests, and actionable for the amount of time necessary for healthy behavior to become habitual.
Definition of an Employee Wellness Ecosystem
The employee wellness ecosystem manages the delivery of resources in ways that enable employees to adopt and sustain healthful lifestyle habits. The key component of an effective employee wellness ecosystem is its ability to leverage partnerships with other community stakeholders. This gives employees and their dependents continual exposure to healthy options and behavioral nudges. There are four elements to an employee wellness ecosystem:
- Behavior-based plans such as primary care clinics, incentive programs, premium differentials, etc.
- Wellness programs including access to a gym, gym discounts, weight-management help, smoking-cessation classes, and fitness challenges, to name a few
- Decision-support tools that offer access to nutritionists, a café with nutrition facts on food offerings, and weight-loss and nutrition aids
- Support services such as a 24/7 nurse line or disease education
By adopting a more open architecture of wellness ecosystem design and management, wellness practitioners achieve a broader capacity for improving programming performance and increasing visibility. Ultimately, this strategy will provide participants with a more holistic wellness program structure that supports healthy lifestyle habits in and out of the office.
Looking for more information or to have a discussion about your employee wellness program? Send me a note, I’d love to chat.
About the Author
Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.More Content by Deb Broderson