making the workplace a better place


Next Generation of Worksite Wellness

Highlights from the presentation at the AAOHN 2017 International Conference. Today, many worksite wellness programs emphasize physical health, focusing on health risk factors, and disease management in order to reduce healthcare costs. Yet, the history of health promotion has holistic and broad roots. Health is a complex biopsychosocial concept. As such, complete health and health promoting behaviors depend on many factors.

This session briefly explored the journey from the holistic roots of health promotion to worksite wellness today and considerations for redesigning the paradigm for the next generation of wellness.

Below are a few bullets for what The Next Generation of worksite wellness will include:

  • The fact that Context Matters – always has – but now wellness will use this fact. The Next Generation of worksite wellness will influence organizational issues that detract from or enhance wellness.
  • All dimensions of health for complete – authentic – well-being, including

– Physical health

– Spiritual

– Emotional

– Social and

– Psychological

  • Physical health initiatives that emphasize enhancing resiliency, joy, energy and vitality – not focusing on health risk and disease so prominent today.
  • Partnerships and collaboration between safety, wellness, occupational health, human resources, organizational development and trainers – breaking down the silos.
  • An ecological model to embrace determining factors of health, rather than a focus on individual change alone.
  • Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.
  • A connection to business strategies and issues instead of healthcare cost containment alone. Therefore outcomes will not be limited to benefit plans, but will include for example, enhancing productivity, engagement, trust, and retaining and attracting talents.

What enhances employee well-being is also what enhances the organization. In fact, next generation wellness programs are where the greatest benefits are found, not just for individual health, but also regarding organizational gains.

It’s a win-win for all since the wellness of the employee is affected by the organization and the ‘wellness’ of the organization is affected by the well-being of the employee. The two are inextricably connected.

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