The response from many organizations has been to ask their broker or insurance company to provide solutions for wellness in the workplace. While we applaud the efforts to create a more healthy workforce, we are dismayed by the obvious disconnects and inefficiencies of many of these programs purchased by well-intentioned employers.
The problem with this scenario is that insurance is a financial tool that happens to be applied to health; the expertise lies in finance, not health. Most brokers offer products for a fee and most insurers are interested in lowering claims by looking only at the system in place – where dollars are coming in and going out. The response within the traditional insurance industry has been to create “plug and play” products, with financial rewards and punishment as the basis for using the products.
This perpetuates the misunderstanding of wellness and often alienates those employees who need the most help. True success in wellness is not about creating an environment of fear, shame or better than… It is a shared experience that comes about when people feel a sense of belonging and caring wherever they are in each moment.
In this context, leadership has an opportunity, arguably a responsibility, to offer a community of deep care that extends beyond the roles of bosses and worker bees with wellness players and losers. Employees are people with hearts and feelings and families, not consumers or commodities.
Creating wellness programs
that enhance success will arise through intuitive, enlightened and caring leadership, and these subtle, yet tangible shifts in the culture of the workplace serve as a catalyst for real well-being. In creating wellness programs that meet your organizations unique needs, we invite you to consider the following: