Majority Of Global Employers Have Wellness Strategy

Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) has released its latest report on workplace wellness practices. Key findings include:

Wellness is firmly on the global business agenda. Ninety-five percent of organizations have or plan to have a fully implemented wellness strategy. Of these, 41 percent have commenced and 22 percent have completed implementation. Only a 5 percent do not offer any type of wellness program.

Focus is on long-term behavioral change. Eighty-five percent of organizations want to empower long-term behavior change. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the sustained outcomes of behavioral change-based wellness strategies in achieving health risk reduction and improved performance in employees. Physical inactivity leads as the top risk behavior addressed, followed by stress and poor nutrition. Short-sighted “quick fix” approaches are phasing out.

Employee participation is both a top-ranking concern and barrier. Wellness initiatives are achieving less than 20 percent participation on average, well short of organizations’ 60 percent participation goals. Lack of time and interest are cited as top barriers to employee participation, highlighting the potential for greater program flexibility and enjoyment to achieve perception change and improved engagement.

High-risk employees remain elusive. Seventy-five percent of respondents admit difficulty attracting higher-risk employees, with only 21 percent successful in doing so. High-risk employees are those who most need intervention and who cost workplaces most. To engage these often reluctant or skeptical employees, initiatives must be appealing to and accessible by employees of all ages, abilities, and health status. Greater focus here could boost participation levels by these more evasive employees and vastly increase business returns.

Fun is fundamental but forgotten. Forty-five percent of organizations cite employee perceptions of wellness initiatives as lacking in fun and engagement as a major barrier to participation. A resounding 99 percent rate “fun” as medium-to-high importance and with only 10 percent reporting their initiatives actually having very high levels of fun, this presents a powerful opportunity to increase participation through enjoyment.

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