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How can I improve workplace wellness programs?

Employer wellness programs aim to improve employee health and well-being.

However, critics and operators have begun to posit that many employer wellness programs are built on principles that are outmoded and don’t know how to impact wellness effectively in today’s workplace ecosystem.

Here are some common misconceptions about workplace wellness programs that continue to persist:

Participation automatically leads to better health

No. Providing a myriad of options and offerings does not guarantee utilization or behavior change. Employees are more than a datapoint of “unhealthy lifestyles” or other archaic assumptive models.

Look, employer wellness programs come from a good place, many unfortunately rely on outdated assumptions and practices that limit their true impact. The thinking that simply offering services will magically lead employees to become healthier is misguided. Lasting behavior change requires understanding each person’s unique motivations and barriers. Programs need to move beyond simplistic participation metrics and get creative in providing customized support focused on the full context of people’s lives, not just their workplace persona.

  • Dr. Puja Uppal, DO, MA. Founder THS Outcomes