A Publication of WTVP

A successful corporate wellness program de-emphasizes short-term goals and promotes long-term participation.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” creates widespread healthcare changes in 2013 for both employers and employees. Employers who choose to be proactive, rather than reactive, will be better prepared to handle these many changes. Taking a proactive approach can help reduce the chance for confusion and anxiety among employees during the transition. As Obama- care advances, corporate wellness plans are becoming more popular as employers encourage a team approach to keep their employees’ (and their families’) healthcare costs under control.

An effective corporate wellness program will shift the focus away from weight loss and exercise to more subtle changes in the employee’s lifestyle and “culture.” Weight loss and exercise programs have been the basis of many unsuccessful corporate fitness programs because they focus only on employee fitness. Participants found these two goals to be an overwhelming challenge, especially if they were a bit de-conditioned.

A successful corporate approach should start with clear objectives to address the long-term participation and wellness of employees. Here are a few ideas to consider:

An organized company wellness program benefits both employers and employees in managing the costs of healthcare, but it requires a change in culture. This begins with a long-term commitment to success, starting at the top of the organization. Using biometrics to manage goals (BMI, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.) is much more effective than a “Biggest Loser” contest. A successful corporate health program will have a positive effect on each member’s wellness and cultivate a happier, more engaged and productive staff. And the best part is that it saves money! This is an atmosphere in which everyone benefits. iBi

Eddie Papis is the wellness director at Hopedale Medical Complex. He can be reached at (309) 449-4512 or [email protected].