About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Including Dependents in Wellness Programs

Although the workplace is an excellent place to introduce health and wellness, HR managers and wellness professionals know that employees themselves are only part of the equation. It's important not to forget the dependents--spouses, partners, and children--whose health also impacts the company's bottom line.

A recent article in Bloomberg Business Week focused on companies that are trying to include family members in wellness programs. (Please ignore the article's snarky tone.) Large corporations such as Aetna, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, and Dell have all begun providing incentives for family members to participate in wellness. Doing so makes good business sense.

The article tells of one IBM manager who found it difficult to make healthy choices at home. With a three-year-old, who could blame her? Now, IBM's wellness program engages her by providing healthy meal plans and health tips by email. She has lost 10 pounds, and the company reports that almost two-thirds of the kids in the program have lost weight as well.

Kudos to these companies for including families in their wellness programs. It not only saves money--it's the right thing to do.

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