Wellness Tips Advisors Can Help Employers Avoid

1. Imposing goals on employees rather than empowering them to set their own goals

Every employee is unique. Yet most wellness programs present cookie-cutter program goals that may not tailor or attract much of the employee population, says Bierbower, adding that effective wellness programs ask employees what they want to accomplish and encourage them to set their own goals and design their own health and wellness pathway.

2. Offering goal-based incentive programs without guidance

Employees often know what needs to be done in order to achieve better health, including losing weight and reducing stress, but they don’t know how to do it. Most wellness programs are missing the guidance on how to reach personal health goals with their employees.

3. Relying on self-reporting rather than verifiable actions

In order to truly support employees in achieving their goals, companies can’t simply rely on self-reported data, which can give an inaccurate picture of employee activity. Most wellness programs only credit employees for signing up for a gym membership or a 5k run, rather than verifying and rewarding their workouts and the steps they are taking toward better health, according to Bierbower.

4. Overlooking the influence of family

The health behaviors of family members can either stimulate bad habits and shortcuts or encourage good intentions. Yet many wellness programs do not incorporate families and thereby neglect a crucial component of success for many employees, Bierbower says.

5. Analyzing how the program is being used rather than how it is working

Many wellness programs have failed to demonstrate that they do in fact work, Bierbower says. Few report what metrics they are targeting and what success factors they are measuring that clearly indicate a benefit to the employer and employee.

6. Not matching the wellness program with the company’s culture and health priorities

Many wellness programs have failed to demonstrate that they do in fact work, Bierbower says. Few report what metrics they are targeting and what success factors they are measuring that clearly indicate a benefit to the employer and employee.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary

President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary