Health Economist Blasts Wellness Programs
You can subsidize healthier food in cafeteria. Build fitness centers. Make it easier to ride a bike to work, have a walking path. Essentially, allowing people to pursue their own interests is a very valuable way to do a wellness program. Instead of penalizing employees if they don't do things, replace that philosophy with 'If you build them they will come.'
HLM: So making it easier to exercise and eat healthfully at work is enough? What about those workers who are so stressed they still don't think they have time to participate?
Lewis: You still have to push the concept of wellbeing. It's like wellness, but it's also looking at the quality of management to make sure it's trickling down that the company cares. Telling somebody they're sick won't reduce [their] stress. A company should want employees to think that the employer cares about them. You have to expand it to things that involve more than just building the physical environment.
People don't quit companies, they quit managers. Want to change wellbeing at the workplace, look to see if people are regularly quitting underneath certain people, and then change the manager. Wellbeing requires fundamental changes to the workplace structure.
Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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