Two More Common Mistakes Every Wellness Program Manager Should Avoid
We’d like to add two more items to Dr. Steve Aldana’s recent post on the Wellsteps blog, 10 Common Mistakes Every Wellness Program Manager Should Avoid. Based on conversations with clients, these two issues are top of mind.
11. Not having a budget.
“We’re very excited to be having this conversation about wellness! We have some employees who are really energized about bringing healthy changes to this office.”
“That’s great to hear! So, what is your budget for wellness activities this year?”
When you make any (deliberate) life change, do you operate on a zero budget: moving house, buying a car, going to the gym (more often)? No, of course not. Not if you can help it, and not if you plan to be successful. You save money, schedule events, and call or click around for the best deal on whatever it is you need.
Similarly, when implementing a new program at work of any type, from getting a new payroll system, to changing benefits offerings, to rolling out a new service, these changes take months of planning, committee meetings, and budgetary management. Shockingly, wellness programs—when well-executed—take as much planning and coordination as any other enterprise activity.
We recommend talking to us, your broker/consultant, about what it is you’d like to do, and we will work with you to develop a timetable, budget, and secure the people and vendors you need to be successful.
12. Thinking a “Biggest Loser” contest is going to motivate employees to lose weight.
A “Biggest Loser” competition in the workplace is fundamentally flawed for a variety of reasons.
- As Potomac’s President Joe Appelbaum is fond of saying, “You never want to lose weight. You’ll just find it again!”
- No one wants to be a “loser.”
- The Biggest Loser TV show contestants most often regain all the weight they lost, and then some, perpetuating yo-yo dieting and that lose/gain cycle. Studies show weight cycling presents an increased risk for disease.
- These contests encourage employees to undertake unhealthy methods to obtain incentives.
Instead, focus on a holistic approach to wellbeing: move more, eat healthier, and manage stress. We can help you use resources you may not have known you had through your health insurance and long-term disability insurance carriers to get employees aware of their health status and engaged in improving it. One of the worst things that can happen from a “Biggest Loser” competition is negative employee relations, where you, as the employer, are viewed as intruding in employees' personal lives. Don’t be that employer! Be a force for good, and support your employees in living their best lives.