HomebusinesshealthAwards and RecognitionbusinesshealthResourcesBlog
The Callery Group
About UsOur ServicesContact Us

The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness
Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up

Coping with issues such as absenteeism, sick leave and workers’ comp can quickly start to resemble a hopeless game of whack-a-mole: as soon as you try to deal with one, two or three others pop up.

That’s where concept of “workplace wellness” comes in. It’s basically a change in thinking when it comes to dealing with the whole range of “negatives” in human resources management. These familiar issues include the following:

  • absenteeism and sick leave,
  • morale issues,
  • accidents, injuries and workers’ comp costs,
  • productivity and quality issues,
  • employee retention,
  • workplace stress,
  • substance abuse,
  • employee health, and
  • lack of overall employee job satisfaction.

Workplace wellness looks at these issues as symptoms that can all be mitigated – some of them solved outright – by an overall approach that builds a healthy workplace, and heads off the development of any of those symptoms before they ever take shape.

Easier said than done? Not at all. You just have to build a program that you can believe in, that you will be happy to be a part of yourself, and that makes sense for your people in your workplace.

-Healthy diet: promotion of healthy diets; leading by example in the cafeteria with healthy choices offered every day; elimination or downplaying of pop, chips and other junk foods in vending machines; diet counseling information and services.

-Smoking cessation: support, information and encouragement for those wanting to quit smoking.

-Weight loss support: information, referrals, counseling for weight loss; support groups.

-Workstation ergonomics: professional assessment of workstations and work processes; sit-stand work routines; education.

-Fitness programs: workout groups, subsidized gym membership, fitness promotion.

-Vaccination programs: providing flu shots in the workplace.

-Information/education sessions: seminars, lunch-and-learns, information websites.

-Work-life balance: programs to encourage balance and perspective; things like “no-email” times in the evenings and weekends.

-Employee assistance plan (EAP) promotion: sending the message about what the EAP can do to help with life issues, substance abuse, and mental health problems.

Many successful programs started out with a few basics to address particular issues relevant to the workplace in question, and then gradually expanded as they built on a growing comfort level in the workplace.

Experts in the field tend to agree on the following basic elements for building a great workplace wellness program:

  1. Set up a working group representative of the entire workplace to lead and manage the program.
  2. Set specific, measurable goals and objectives. Include benchmarks to work toward along the way.
  3. Have your working group coordinate with your benefits provider, or consultants, to build your program and to ensure that it is tailor made for the needs and circumstances of your workplace.
  4. Track the progress and results. Benefits providers (and others) can provide software to track things like costs, absenteeism, sick leave and injury reports.
  5. Demonstrate top-level management support and leadership for the program.
  6. Continuously promote the program through employee communications, workplace intranets, displays and posters, newsletters and reports of progress at all corporate events.

Workplace wellness, as a concept, is basically a change in thinking – from dealing with a list of individual negatives, to building one large positive: a well workplace. It’s a good way to deal with a range of human resources issues, but it’s also, quite simply, just the right thing to do.

***

If there is a topic that you would like me to write about,
please email me at billz@callerygroup.com.

Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. All of the content herein is the sole property of the Callery Group, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system - in whole or in part - without the written permission of the Callery Group. Links to the originating article at www.callerygroup.com are permitted.

The Buzz Bits
Miscellaneous links to interesting benefits information

Feds propose regulatory changes to bring down cost of prescriptions

Insurers lose genetic testing fight

Cost savings top driver for benefits technology

May newsletter: How processed foods can lead to food addiction

Five critical questions to developing a comprehensive wellness program

Apps, peer recognition among trends in employee recognition programs

Toronto restaurant introduces surcharge to cover benefits plan

Discussion about retirement age revived as census shows big rise in senior population

Three ways to leverage leadership support for wellness when budgets are limited

Top 10 medications by spending in 2016

Community Ethics, Big City Expertise

Subscribe to the Buzz Blog

Blog archive

Unintended Lessons I've learned about Blogging so far

You never know what's going to happen when you click on a link [more]

Drugs, Alcohol and, Oh Yes, Marijuana

Changing times may require all of us to take a long hard look at our drug-and-alcohol policies [more]

Best Tips For Sleeping Well

If you're just not sleeping well, there are some pretty effective things you can do to make it better [more]

Survey Says: Wellness Programs Improve Overall Satisfaction

It seems that employees' satisfaction with wellness programs spills over into satisfaction with their benefits programs and their jobs in general [more]

Changes Coming to Personal Emergency Leave Laws

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will significantly increase legally mandated employee leaves [more]

The Good News and the Bad News on Diabetes

We keep hearing about a "diabetes epidemic," but there are things we can do now to improve our odds of beating the statistics [more]

Who's Your "Broker" Working For?

In a world of brokers, agents, advisors and consultants, it's important to stay focused on who's really working for you [more]

The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up [more]

Medical Marijuana - More Questions than Answers

A lack of medical consensus makes drug plan coverage of medical marijuana very difficult [more]

Pharmacogenomics Means Better Prescriptions

A simple DNA test can now help pinpoint which drugs are going to work best for you [more]

Why Airplanes Crash

What one successful CEO learned from air crash investigations – and how it all applies to managing any organization [more]

Not A Delicate Subject Anymore...

How to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace [more]

A Look Inside

There's more to this business that we usually talk about... [more]

Bio What-Now?

Get ready for "generic" biologics. [more]

What You Don't Want to Say to Your Doctor

There are some things that you want to explain to your doctor, and some things you really should stay away from. [more]

Your Dentist's Pet Peeve

Why you should know all the ins and outs of your dental insurance plan before you ever lean back in the chair and open wide [more]

About that Credit Card Travel Insurance

It may be of some value, especially if you have no pre-existing conditions, but you really need to read that fine print [more]

Right Drug, Right Time, Right Cost

Why you should work with your doctor, your pharmacist, and your drug plan to make sure you get optimal treatmenty [more]

Big Smiles

A focus on dental plans will ensure that everyone remains happy [more]

Your Doctor Doesn't Know Everything

When it comes to prescriptions, patients need to be part of the conversation [more]

Prescription for Disaster

Advances in pharmaceuticals are threatening your drug plan [more]

Sleep Easy

Conditions like sleep apnea can be treated, ensuring proper rest and productive days [more]

Easy as EAP

Formal support makes a big difference when employees face personal challenges [more]

Well Done

10 ways to develop an effective workplace wellness program [more]

Mind Matters

Businesses can't afford to ignore the mental health of their employees [more]

Brian's Story

Brian Callery is celebrating 40 years in our business. It's a commitment that makes a difference in his clients' businesses [more]

The Benefits to You

The same plans designed to protect employees will also offer advantages to employers [more]

Lawyer Up

There are legal ramifications around changing benefit plans - especially if an employee is being terminated [more]

Travel Trauma

Dream vacations can turn into nightmares when travel insurance claims are denied [more]

Evolution Solution

Evolving benefit plans will meet employee needs and support recruiting and retention efforts [more]

Plan & Predict

How rising paramedical claims, drug reforms, and other trends will affect your workplace benefits [more]

Who Benefits

Education makes the case for workplace benefit plans [more]

Season of Renewal

Important questions to ask your benefits advisor before inking a deal [more]

Preventive Measures

Paramedical services help keep employees healthy, on the job, and productive [more]

A Bounce in Their Step

Canada Rubber Group employees are embracing their new wellness program [more]

Business Benefits

Shandex Group and Indaco Manufacturing discuss the value of evolving employee benefits plans [more]

A New Mindset

Workplaces can't afford to ignore the mental health of employees [more]

Cost Cutters

10 cost-cutting strategies to protect your benefits plan [more]

Safe Travels

12 ways to protect yourself on your next vacation [more]

Breaking News

Learn from the mistakes of an AOL executive when discussing any changes to your benefits plans [more]

Watch the Gaps

Protect against turnover and lost opportunities by recognizing the generation gaps [more]

Generation Next

Generation Y represents the future of your business - and will see workplace benefits plans in a different way [more]

Absent Minded

Employers are paying the price for absenteeism, but it can be controlled [more]

Think Positive

Programs that build positive workplaces make business sense [more]

Back to School

8 important lessons your employees need to learn about benefits plans [more]

Find a Better Broker

6 questions you should ask anyone who wants to sell you a benefits plan [more]

Plan Your ROI

5 ways employee benefits plans can deliver a real Return on Investment [more]

The Benefit of Benefits

3 ways a benefits plan can improve your company's bottom line. [more]

A Healthy Dose of Information

5 questions for your pharmacist that might save your drug plan and your wallet. [more]

Claim Denied

Consider these 8 ways to avoid rejected benefit claims. [more]

Travel Planning

6 questions to ask before assuming you are protected by a group plan's travel insurance. [more]

Biologic Logic

Growing list of biologic drugs could bankrupt poorly protected drug plans. [more]

Smart Shopping

8 shopping habits that will protect your benefits plan. [more]

Tough Medicine

Employees will share more responsibilities and higher costs to sustain their benefits. [more]

Crime Costs

5 scams that could be placing your benefits plan at risk. [more]

A Prescription for Your Drug Plan

Skyrocketing drug prices may be threatening your benefits plan, but generic drugs offer a cure. [more]

Planes, Trains and Travel Insurance

The fine print in your travel insurance may leave you more exposed than you think. [more]

Healthy and Wealthy

5 steps to an employee wellness program that will generate real financial returns. [more]

Avoiding Burnout During Holiday Season

Education and Prevention can help control spiraling benefit costs. [more]

Sweat the Small Stuff

Protect your staff by avoiding these common "paperwork" mistakes by administrators. [more]



Services Personal Services Corporate Services