A wellness company helps other businesses establish programs to improve the personal well-being of its workers. These companies use awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to boost the quality of life of the individuals.
Wellness companies provide tailored, personalized plans per individual and business. The plans are the result of using expertise, guided experience, and opinions. The goal is to improve individual health so they’re productive, less of a health insurance strain, and to create a happier atmosphere.
Have you considered promoting healthy lifestyles for your employees? Great!
Let’s explore the common mistakes when choosing a provider before you make the decision on which company to hire.
Five Common Mistakes of Wellness Companies
There are hundreds of wellness companies across the United States. That’s not including the thousands of smaller businesses offering these services. This makes the process of choosing the provider quite the challenge. It’s not only about the program but whether the info and guidance align (and stick) with the workforce.
What better way to weed out the low-quality contenders than to learn of the common mistakes? Let’s take a look at five that are red flags.
1. Incentives (without guidance)
Effective wellness programs use incentives to motivate employees to keep their healthy lifestyle and routines. These incentives are monetary bonuses but may also include merchandising, extra vacation days, and flex time.
Unfortunately, not all wellness programs lead to commitment. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement. But, so should the routine by rewarding activity and reaching milestones.
2. Inclusion and competition
The introduction of an incentive-based wellness program could lead to confrontation without the proper direction.
One would hope for positive competition to drive employees. Though, tensions between management and the workforce could exacerbate with this new outlet to compete. This could result forming inclusion that deters others from committing. Others do not want to commit because of the hostile environment.
3. Convoluted tracking & reporting
The wellness program is effective when biometric data is recorded often and used to make logical decisions on how best to motivate participation. A program that tries to factor dozens of data points creates a convoluted system that’s hard to track and report upon.
Instead, focus on one or two metrics:
- Activity levels
- Weight loss
- Health care costs
Start small (weight loss) and work upward to bigger wins (health care costs) to determine the success of the program. Over time you’ll have the opportunity to expand your data set and measure a larger sample of biometrics. But, keep it simple for now when first starting out.
4. Commitment (both sides)
Healthy living isn’t accomplished in a few short weeks. Commitment must be the same as one would approach lifestyle changes versus a quick flash-in-the-pan trial of a diet.
The commitment needs to come from two angles:
- Continual milestones, goals, and activity
- Leading by example
The workforce will not commit if the higher-ups do not take part. The leadership needs to be present the same as any other area of the business. Practice what you preach. Do so and the employees will find the motivation to keep going.
It’s during this time to measure the mental well-being of the individuals as well.
Employees will develop the stamina and muscle to do the routines. Yet, if they aren’t emotionally stable and focused this can result in relapse. Use meetings, incentives (see above), and helpfulness to motivate those struggling so they do not lose their will to continue.
5. Lacking the ease of access
The tools and resources should not take considerable effort to find or use. This includes access to exercise equipment, healthy foods, and support (online, in-person, or over-the-phone).
Display results and community achievements with the discretion of the participants. Displaying these achievements encourage peer support. It also provides visual aids to understand progress.
Finding the Fit in Fitness
The mistakes made by wellness companies are beneficial. Meaning they are indicators to cut out the majority that isn’t aligned with your goals. Work your way backward through the selections and then consider the factors that make for a good fit with these programs. This way you have a great balance of what (and what not) to look for in these companies.
Justifying the Costs of Wellness Companies
Many business owners are skeptical of the return on investment with wellness programs. It’s easy to see why considering the costs to install these programs and the possible resistance that may be present within the workforce.
Studies have concluded that wellness programs do not cut costs but they do cut hospitalizations. The data collected showed that while costs associated inpatient hospital visits decreased there was an increase to out-patient services.
“At BJC, we understand that changing behavior to improve human health is a journey that is ongoing,” said Steve Lipstein, BJC president and CEO. “It cannot be easily measured in dollar cost savings. Wellness programs are about giving employees the information they need to understand and manage their personal health. Cost savings may follow over time, but nothing is more valuable than achieving and staying in good health.”
The justification for the investment in wellness companies should tap into this long-term goal. Critics agree that in order for the programs to work there must be trust in the system. If this trust is present then employee well-being and morale increases. This will lead to lower health costs, higher employee retention, and reduced absenteeism.
The result? A 3:1 return on investment.
We can all agree that promoting lifestyles that increase worker satisfaction and health is a good thing. Wellness programs are a great option for those that care for the well-being of their workforce. They’re easy to install but come with a host of mistakes unless you stay sharp and avoid these pitfalls covered in the article.
Need help choosing the right wellness company for your business? Take a look through our extensive network or get in touch for a personalized suggestion. We’re happy to help you find the perfect match!