Your Wellness Program May Be Making People Less Well

Companies and their HR managers are looking for unique and cost-effective initiatives to support employee physical, mental and emotional well-being through wellness. By implementing such programs, employers are hoping and anticipating their investment will result in increased productivity and improved engagement, as well as building loyalty and commitment with their hard-to-find talent. It sounds easy enough but can be harder to achieve than it sounds.

Why? There are a variety of wellness options out there for employers to choose from. Many of the traditional programs — subsidized gym memberships, corporate health challenges (such as weight loss and smoking cessation), on-site yoga, massage services — still exist in the market. Lately, however, there have been some especially creative ideas, such as offering employees a place to nap, lactation lounges, on-site dentists and others that may (or may not) be the right fit for your organization.

But even though an employer may have the best of intentions in mind, not all wellness initiatives (whether traditional or not) are one-size-fits-all. Therefore, before implementing any wellness program, it is imperative that management consider all angles and the potential implications on employees of their proposed program.

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Head shot of Lisa Kay
WRITTEN BY
Lisa Kay
Lisa Kay is president and lead consultant, Peak Performance Human Resources Corp., Toronto.