Next-Generation Wellness at Work
By Stephenie Overman
List price: $44.95
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Next-Generation Wellness at Work cuts straight to what employers want to know: Do employee wellness programs benefit our bottom line? The answer, author Stephenie Overman says, is yes. Wellness pays off, to the tune of an average $5.81 saved for every dollar invested in worksite health-promotion programs, according to one study.
Overman’s book helps readers create workplace wellness programs and get employees to use those programs. It shows readers how to do the following and more:
--Get buy-in from top management. Learn to build a business case for wellness and demonstrate how expensive some diseases and conditions are for the organization. Incentives for managers can help them get behind wellness initiatives; rewards such as money for their operating budgets can motivate managers to work toward specific wellness goals.
--Form a wellness committee or team to set the strategy. Overman covers how to find team members and determine their tasks, how to train and reward wellness team members and how the team can help sell the idea of wellness to the rest of the workforce.
--Try simple, immediate changes. Wellness doesn’t require a huge program and a big dollar investment. Overman advises on getting started with small changes: Introduce health and nutrition educational sessions, and get employees involved in planning them. Cut out sugary snacks at meetings and swap healthy items for candy and chips in vending machines. Sponsor a walking program in which employees log their steps.
--Give incentives to encourage employee participation. Learn how employers have used prizes, cash, and even reductions in health insurance premiums as wellness program incentives. Overman also looks at potential legal considerations if you require wellness program participation.
--Consider an on-site fitness center or health clinic. Consider the feasibility, costs and benefits of on-site facilities, as well as the possibility of contracts with third-party companies. Readers hear the experiences of companies that have run successful clinics and fitness centers for their employees.
--Focus on mental wellness, not just physical wellness. Employee assistance programs are a starting point for helping employees with mental wellness, but flexible schedules, work/life balance and opportunities for education and advancement are all ways to improve employees’ psychological wellness.
The book examines the impacts that age, gender, ethnicity, disabilities, industry differences and other factors have on employees’ acceptance of wellness initiatives. Overman also provides short articles with case studies of employers with successful programs.