When corporate wellness programs first began, their focus was on weight loss and smoking cessation. And while these factors remain important, the workforce has begun to realize that an effective wellness program is much more comprehensive.
A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works. For example, the needs of the employees may include improving sleep quality, healthier food options at the office, and access to specific healthcare specialists, such as mental health.
Current wellness programs aren’t providing what employees say they need
Thirty-nine percent of private industry workers and 63 percent of state and local government workers had access to corporate wellness benefits in 2017 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This number is expected to rise with each year.
However, simply having a wellness program in place isn't enough. In fact, only 40% of employees with programs say they actually improve their health/wellness; approximately 1/3 don’t use them; and 1/10 don’t even know if one is available.
Also important to note is that employees are cynical and skeptical about the motivation behind these programs. Employers who are seen as genuinely caring about the health of their employees and not just the bottom line have a higher health and wellness rating among the staff.
The missing piece to a winning corporate wellness program...
A wellness piece that largely gets missed in today's corporate culture is advocacy.
Our current healthcare system is largely broken. Many medical offices are understaffed and unable to dedicate the time necessary to their patients. Therefore, simply funding access to, say, primary care services may not be sufficient to ensure the wellbeing of your employees.
Advocacy services provided at a group rate can help your employees navigate the muddy waters of the medical system to ensure they not only get access to care, but they become empowered in their healthcare journey and take a proactive rather than reactive role.
I have seen first-hand as both a clinician and an advocate that asking the right questions, staying organized with medical records, and learning to be a project manager of your own health can save your life.
Corporate wellness created with your employees in mind
If you have not yet implemented a wellness program at your place of business, or you have but aren't sure if it's effective for your employees, this new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate. If you'd like to learn more about our Corporate Wellness Program, click here.