Organizational leadership support makes a big difference for wellness plan success

While every organization is unique, certain initiatives are more popular in successful wellness programs when compared to initiatives offered by programs finding less success, according to recent research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The study, A Closer Look: 2018 Workplace Wellness Trends, found that organizations that have involvement and support from organizational leadership and offer stress management programs yielded more successful results across the board. Some of those successful results were a positive impact on health care costs or higher employee participation rates.

Support from organizational leadership.

The IFEBP survey noted the importance of senior leadership involvement in wellness initiatives. The survey found that 57 percent of organizations experiencing a positive impact on health care costs involve organizational leadership in their programs, and 54 percent have company leaders communicate wellness information to employees. In addition, 53 percent of employers experiencing a positive impact on health screening data have organizational leadership communicate support for wellness efforts to employees.

“Whether a workplace wellness program is taking a more holistic approach or focusing on cost savings, this report distinctly revealed that it’s not only leadership support but, more specifically, leadership’s communication of the program to staff that is critical for program success,” said Julie Stich, associate vice president of content at IFEBP.

Stress management.

Among other attributes that impact workforce measures, a stress management program was another offering producing positive results. The survey found that 45 percent of organizations noticing a positive impact on health care costs encourage stress management programs, but only 21 percent of organizations with less successful programs do so. In addition, 43 percent of organizations experiencing a positive impact on employee engagement and satisfaction offer stress management programs.

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