The Importance of Leadership in Wellness Programs
For a corporate wellness program to achieve long-term success, setting the right goals is critical. Leadership must have a long-term vision so that the culture remains an active culture. Just asking employees to do some type of activity and lose weight is a short term goal but the long term goal should be to enhance emotional and physical wellbeing, job stability and security, a healthy lifestyle and a better worker. Evidence shows that when leadership offers comprehensive and structured wellness programs for their employees, it usually leads to better health outcomes and higher morale.
Corporate wellness is not all about employee benefits but also improved business outcomes which can range form higher job satisfaction, lower absenteeism, higher employee retention, improved productivity, a team spirit and decreased healthcare costs.
The goal of leadership is to set up programs that are practical, convenient, and accessible. Secondly the work environment should reflect health awareness. This may mean having healthy foods in the cafeteria that are clearly labeled, affordable and tastefully prepared. Thirdly the employee should be offered regular and timely breaks to rejuvenate the body. There should be no smoking polices and regulations in place requiring mandatory use of seat belt when using company vehicles.
Corporate wellness is not a one shot deal. Changing lifestyle in employees is a long-term investment that requires changes in the social and physical environment. The workplace should have policies, stated benefits, and signage in place that encourages employees to adapt to healthy behaviors because the benefits are life long.