About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Workplace Innovation and Wellness Programs

Over at the Health Care Blog, I’m reading about how Kaiser Permanente, a large managed care organization, encourages innovation in its own workplace. This is so important, because innovative workplaces are ultimately more productive. They yield more highly engaged employees -- and, as we all know, engaged employees are a company's productive "engines."

It's striking how the components of an innovative workplace mentioned in the original post (risk-taking, resources, etc.) mirror the components of a successful wellness program. Here is my "wellness" version of the original article:
  • Risk-taking. Encouraging healthy habits means asking some people to step outside their comfort zone.
  • Resources. Creating a culture of wellness means giving employees the time and support they need to practice healthy behaviors at work.
  • Knowledge. It's essential to give your employees access to quality health information. Offer biometric screenings to let them know the state of their health.
  • Goals: Make your company-wide wellness goals known at every opportunity.
  • Rewards: Reward employees for meaningful participation.
  • Recognition: Highlighting participants' successes and milestones is a powerful non-monetary reward.
  • Tools: Map out walking paths near your office. Give out pedometers for participants to track their steps. Provide healthy snacks in break rooms. In short, give people the tools they need to be healthy!
  • Relationships: Healthy habits are contagious. Research has shown the powerful effect of social networks in our lives; the more associations you have with healthy people, the more likely you are to be healthy, too.
What innovative approaches have been successful in your wellness programs? How do you maintain an atmosphere of innovation in your workplace?

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