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Well Beyond Benefits: The Business Case for Moving Wellness Out of Benefits

BY: Maggie Gough • COO | WELCOA

Many companies have their health and wellness strategy delivered as a subset of their health benefits. For companies that have a dedicated wellness professional, that person often reports to the person in the organization who administers benefits. There is certainly some logic in this model. Wellness does have programmatic aspects that are offered as a benefit to the employee, but is this the best model?

The Problem with One-Size-Fits-All Employee Benefits

There is no shortage of research articles stating that workplace wellness doesn’t work. In the majority of those studies, the program delivered and researched is an outsourced program offered as a benefit to the employee. There it is. Wellness delivered as an outsourced benefit to employees has been shown in multiple studies to be ineffective.
“Wellness delivered as an outsourced benefit to employees has been shown in multiple studies to be ineffective.”
If you view workplace wellness as something you outsource, you fail to recognize the organization’s and the leadership’s impact on and relationship with employee well-being. Without that awareness, you’re expecting a one-size-fits-all purchased program to solve for employee wellness in a vacuum outside of the work the employee is there to do in the first place.

An Effective Model for Employee Benefits

A much more effective and sustainable approach exists. In the workplace, beyond the wellness benefits program (which may very well be a necessary support for your employees), you need to design the work for their well-being. That is an organizational, strategic process that involves multiple stakeholders, and a high level of leadership authority, which often doesn’t exist when reporting to the Benefits or HR Director. WELCOA often receives feedback from frustrated wellness professionals who are knowledgeable, prepared, and capable of leading this work but are limited in their potential due to their positioning in the organization.
“It’s time to ensure wellness is woven into the fabric and strategy of how you function as a business.”
When this occurs, an organization has spent money on an FTE for wellness, and the programs they administer which is proven time and again to be ineffective. It’s time to ensure wellness is woven into the fabric and strategy of how you function as a business. Only then will you get the outcomes you’ve been desiring.

A Proven Pathway for Enhancing the Employee Experience

WELCOA exists to help you design work for well-being. We have created a proven methodology that does just that. Each year thousands of businesses and health leaders deploy WELCOA protocols, strategies, and approaches with the intent of creating healthier cultures, improving employee health and well-being, staying aligned with the future of work, and transforming business functions.

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Maggie Gough
Serving a variety of populations in a multitude of industries, Maggie understands the complexity and depth of the corporate wellness industry and the needs of the professionals and employees they support. Her role at WELCOA is to ensure members receive stellar service and build sustaining connections as a community.