Benchmarks for corporate wellness

Worksite wellness continues to be a growing trend among employers in the Milwaukee area and all around Wisconsin.

Milwaukee recently marked the one-year anniversary of attaining Silver Well City USA status from the Wellness Council of America. Following Milwaukee’s lead, there are Well City projects currently underway in the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Racine.

Successful wellness programs commonly include things like support from top management. National surveys have indicated that leadership commitment to the improvement of employee health is up dramatically since 2009 and that management support can increase overall participation as well as improve health risk status amongst employees significantly.

Many more programs are adopting a systemic approach to establish a comprehensive, results-oriented program that is not merely a series of voluntary activities. The Well Workplace Process made up of the following seven benchmarks is often the model being used:

1. Capturing CEO support.
2. Creating cohesive wellness teams.
3. Collecting data to drive health efforts.
4. Carefully crafting an operating plan.
5. Choosing appropriate interventions.
6. Creating a supportive environment.
7. Carefully evaluating outcomes.

Employers are also utilizing more sophisticated, on-site resources, including clinical staff to make it as easy as possible for employees to improve and maintain good health.

The best wellness programs encourage employees to be a vital part of the program. They communicate program goals and share success stories that contribute to not only creating healthier employees, but also happier and more committed employees. Effective wellness programs can be integral in creating an environment of employee engagement that reaps rewards for both the organization and its workforce.

Jessica Raddemann is the executive director of the Wellness Council of Wisconsin. For more information about starting and growing a corporate employee wellness program, attend the BizTimes Wellness Summit to be held in Milwaukee on Friday, April 15. To register to attend, visit www.biztimes.com/wellness.

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