The majority of corporate wellness programs focus solely on physical fitness including pedometer challenges and walking programs as well as weight management, healthy eating seminars and tobacco cessation. However, most programs are not supporting a more holistic well-being framework including mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, social and environmental well-being. Since up to 90 percent of doctors’ visits are caused by stress, focusing on other components of well-being can help to reduce the overall stress of your employees.
Below are a few ideas in order to support a more holistic well-being program.
Emotional and spiritual well-being initiatives may include mindfulness or meditation training programs. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programming, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn (creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School) has been rigorously researched and designed to support a more holistic approach to stress management. You can find people who have been certified in this type of mindfulness training who specialize in teaching this method. Other holistic stress management programs may include focusing on the reasons behind the stress, such as: time management, organization, financial education / planning and setting healthy boundaries.
Creating more opportunities for social engagement through friendly challenges, fun social events, employee picnics or even leagues and sports teams are a way to support the emotional and social well-being of employees. Making wellness fun is a simple way to engage employees, increase participation instead of having wellness activities being viewed as “one more thing to do in my already hectic and stressful day.”
Moving from sticks to carrots and beyond. The trend is moving away from punishing employees for not participating in the wellness program through increased premiums. Based on the research of Dan Pink in his book Drive, autonomy, mastery and purpose, are key components to creating an engaged workforce. We will focus more on Pink’s work next week and how to implement these concepts into your workplace wellness program.
Kristine Keykal, Co-Founder & CEO of AdvantageHealth, has been helping businesses create custom, award-winning corporate wellness programs for over 20 years.