Participation in wellness programs and initiatives at the executive level can yield great results, according to Gregg Lehman, president and CEO of HealthFitness, a provider of integrated health and fitness management services for employees and individuals.
However, levels of C-suite involvement can vary greatly, ranging from verbal encouragement and support (via newsletters, emails, videos, and general letters of support for programs), to recognizing employees working to improve their health status, to executives becoming active participants in health management programs and sharing their success stories.
In a recent interview with HIN, Lehman cited some valuable techniques that are effective ??? and essential ??? in obtaining optimal wellness program success and creating a corporate culture of health. His list includes:
- Generating corporate mission and vision statements that support employee health and well-being;
- Encouraging workers to participate through financial incentives and easy access to programs while at work;
- Incorporating an integrated approach to managing employee health programs, aligning previously segmented functions like HRA, workers comp, risk management, long-term disability, occupational health and DM programs;
- Conducting an annual assessment of baseline health through an HRA and biometrics screenings;
- Engaging employees and encouraging employee input (i.e. creating a committee or task force);
- Offering fitness programs, prevention programs, etc., and
- Enforcing no-smoking policies, offering healthy food choices in the cafeteria, and addressing other environmental factors.
Reducing risk factors of chronic diseases in the workforce is one of the best long-term investments CEOs and CFOs can make, says Lehman.