Why Workplace Wellness Doesn’t Work, And How To Change It
Workplace wellness is a controversial topic with many strong claims about its positive effects on employees, as well as many conflicting statistics. Although critiqued as an inflated and unregulated industry machine, workplace wellness proponents claim the implemented programs employees and their general health in the long-run. While there are overwhelming positive benefits of promoting health within the workplace, the truth is, the mass-approach to workplace wellness doesn’t work. Instead, a personalized approach to wellness is needed.
Why Workplace Wellness Doesn’t Work:
“Workplace wellness” is an idea that ballooned out of corporate wellness programs’ initiations in the 1970’s. Since then, wellness programs have offered employees benefits such as gym discounts, regular health checkups, weight management plans, etc.
Employers claim that the wellness programs help their employees, and minimize cost of actual healthcare. However, these claims are often weakly supported by insufficient data.
Al Lewis, a Boston attorney and former Harvard University economics lecturer, said, “Those programs are not particularly effective, and many are not voluntary. Often these purported savings are achieved through smoke and mirrors.”
One of the reasons wellness programs may be ineffective is that they actually do very little in-depth health care work.
Ron Goetzel, senior scientist and director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, said that while corporations may claim to do a lot for their employees, the actual execution of their ideas is very minimal.
“Many just offer flu shots or something fairly artificial,” said Goetzel. “Only about 7 percent had comprehensive wellness programs.”
This information then posits: how does workplace wellness improve, and how do employers go about executing better plans?
So, What Does Work?
Personalization. Benefits work best when they’re aligned to company culture and growth goals. As well as an approach to benefits that meets employees’ unique needs. No two humans are the same. Although we share some common biological needs, a mass approach to individuals cannot be expected to be successful.
Ron Goetzel, senior scientist and director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Johns Hopkins University says, “In the months and years ahead, employees will have a greater say in the design, implementation, and fine-tuning of programs.”
Employee wellness is caring for the basic needs of employees. No human can function without the fulfillment of biological needs of sleep, movement, and quiet reflection time. Personalizing employee wellness is the only way to create a wellness plan that is truly successful. Provide an approach that is as unique as your employees’ needs. When humans thrive, companies prosper. Learn more at Beni.fit.
To learn more about where the future of workplace wellness is headed, go to our blog, “What Is The Future of Workplace Wellness?”