Corporate leaders have focused on building and funding robust worksite wellness programs. According to a 2013 survey by the RAND Corporation, over half of U.S. employers offer wellness program incentives, and larger employers are likely to have more complex wellness programs. Seventy-two percent of those offering wellness programs include a combination of screening activities and interventions. Participating employees are offered financial incentives, at an estimated annual cost of nearly $600 per employee. The most popular wellness programs continue to be focused on lifestyle management, such as physical activity programs, weight management programs and stress management. Other popular health improvement options include disease/care management programs (e.g., managing chronic health conditions, like diabetes), lifestyle-management services (e.g., weight loss advice, gym membership discounts), health-risk management services (e.g., on-site flu shots) and environmental enhancements (e.g., bike racks, walking paths).
Employee wellness programs are not measuring what matters. Gallup (2015) reports that 70% of employees are disengaged, leading to lower productivity, innovation, and well-being. Only 8% of employees strongly agree that their job leads to feelings of overall well-being. If worksite wellness programs were effective, these statistics would be different. Is this a good investment for your organization?
If spending $600 per employee per year is not improving employee health OR employee engagement, it’s time for you to consider a best in class enhancement – mindfulness based stress management employee wellness offerings.
Mindfulness works. We know workplace stress is the single biggest contributor to health related corporate costs. Stress-induced conditions can include everything from hypertension and infertility to depression and even accelerate the aging process. They account for 60 to 90 percent of doctor’s visits in the U.S., according to the Benson-Henry Institute. The World Health Organization estimates stress costs U.S. companies at least $300 billion a year through absenteeism, turn-over and low productivity.
The evidence base for mindfulness-based programs is staggering. Clinical trials, as well as extensive experience show that the practice of mindfulness dramatically improves the ability to proactively manage stress, allowing us to build tolerance for challenges created by workloads, deadlines, and interpersonal conflict. We build greater clarity and focus, improving critical thinking and problem solving. By learning how to pay attention to the present moment without judgment, we become engaged in the here and now, which increases employee engagement. As our capacity for innovation and creativity improves, we find new possibilities in difficult team or interpersonal relationships by replacing habitual reactions with more considered responses.
The most effective wellness programs are evidence based, inclusive of all areas of personal health through a mind-body-spirit focus, and employee engagement is measurably improved. Instead of pouring money into incentivizing health behaviors and measurements that are not evidence based (like BMI and weight, as two examples), mindfulness based wellness programs are smart, affordable, and exciting. Forward thinking employers are adopting them with unbelievable results. Shouldn’t your organization join them?
Corporate offerings include:
Employee wellness plan audit
ROI tools and program design
Wellness vendor RFP and evaluation
Mindfulness based program design and implementation
Mindfulness coaching for executive performance
Keynote speaking on stress management and resilience
Experiential workshops and employee training
Simply knowing breath-management techniques and having a better understanding of stress can help build resilience.Resilience improves health, and saves company money. Contact Lisa Schmidt, MS, CEBS, Mindfulness Consultant and expert in employee worksite wellness programs for more information on how your company can be forward thinking, competitive, smart and focused on measuring what matters – a healthier, higher performing, stress resilient workforce.