From Activities To Results: Shifting The Worksite Wellness Program Paradigm (And About Time Too!)

Many worksite wellness programs today are focused only on activities. And you do want to deliver more value, especially results, right?If you doubt my assertion that too many programs today are focused only on activities, then just look over the postings to the worksite wellness groups on LinkedIn and you will frequently see questions posted from group members looking for ideas as to the next type of programming or intervention they should offer. This certainly suggests to me that their efforts are not based on the identified needs arising from any sort of organizational assessment, but more just a series of activities.So what are the differences between activities based and results based programs? The following should help you differentiate the differences.Activity BasedActivity based programs can be identified by:There is no identified business need for the program.There is no assessment of the program’s performance.There are no specific measurable goals and objectives.No specific participant results are shared with the participants nor are they expected to achieve any specific results.No effort is made to prepare the work environment to support any type of healthy lifestyle change. The program’s focus is exclusively on the individual employee.The wellness program makes no effort to collaborate with or to build partnerships with other key internal program managers or any external resources either.There is no monitoring, tracking or measurement of results or any type of cost-benefit analyses.Any program planning conducted is focused solely on program inputs.Little or no reporting about the program occurs.Results Based In contrast, results based programs can be identified by:There being a clear link to and deliberate attention to specific business needs identified through a comprehensive, organization-wide needs assessment. The program is also clearly aligned with the business’ goals, philosophies and practices.The effectiveness of many, if not all, interventions and activities are assessed. Performance assessment is a hallmark of the program.Each intervention and activity has specific, identified goals and objectives. Specific goals and objectives are also in place for the organizational impact.Expected participant results are communicated to all participants.The wellness program works to prepare the organizational environment to support and promote employee lifestyle change.Collaboration and the establishment of partnerships are established with other key program managers, outside resources and the employees themselves. Collaboration and partnerships are key components of a results based program. Wellness practitioners acknowledge they can’t do it all themselves.Monitoring, tracking and measurement occur in all aspects of a results based wellness program. Results guide the future change and development. Cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and ROI type analyses are clearly evident.Program planning incorporates both strategic and operational type planning, with an emphasis on outcomes.Reporting on the program occurs widely across the organization and through multiple types of distribution channels.If your desire is for an effective, successful and sustainable worksite wellness program, I do hope your program’s efforts are results based.

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