Deri's Blogs

3 Key Reasons Your Wellness Program is Sick

Symptom vs SourceDoes your organization have a wellness program? I’ll bet you do – in some form or another. Most organizations do – or at least they say they do.

Chances are good that your wellness program, no matter how elaborate or simple, is not delivering the outcomes you had hoped. There are 3 key reasons for that:

1) You are focusing on symptoms, not sources.

Your wellness program very likely includes something on smoking cessation, on obesity management, on encouraging more physical activity, or on managing stress in the workforce. And, while those are all great initiatives, do they really get at the source of the issue? Why are people obese? Why is stress so high? Why are people missing work?

Could it be because our organizations are designed (unintentionally, of course) to make people sick? Could it be because we are forgetting how to be truly ‘human’ at work?

I think the answers to these questions will begin to reveal what needs to happen in order to create truly ‘well’ – happy and healthy (and productive and profitable) – workplaces.

2) You have not asked – really asked – your team what will make a difference for them

Often, organizations rely on survey data – collected in aggregate – to determine what should be included in their wellness program. That’s the best case scenario. More often, we simply take the easy way out and purchase or copy a program that is being done elsewhere.

Instead, why not ACTUALLY TALK TO PEOPLE. They’ll not only help you understand what’s truly at the source of disengagement, stress, obesity, etc., but they will also be able to collectively determine how to address those sources. The time has come to move away from hierarchical decision making about how to create healthy workplaces, and to move toward collaborative models in which the entire organization takes part in creating it’s reality.

3) You are looking for the elusive quick fix

You’re busy. Absenteeism, disengagement, and turnover are taking your time and attention away from really important aspects of your work. You want the quick fix, ‘the magic pill’, to make it all go away so that you can get back to the things that are important to you and your organization.

Well, I don’t have to tell you what you already know: the quick fix doesn’t stick. Having said that, you might be surprised at just how simple the answer can be to the very complicated issue of wellness – at work and in life!

Check out this TEDx talk by Dr. Lissa Rankin titled ‘The Shocking Truth About Your Health’. What do you think??

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the international measure of excellence for professional competence, proven experience, and optimal client satisfaction. Deri combines a business degree in human resources management with 20 years of experience engaging audiences across every business sector. Deri provides inspiration and information to create psychologically healthy organizations for increased positivity, productivity, and profitability!

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Chantelle Arsenault, GBA, Great West Life Assurance Company of Canada
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Rob Chester, Director Information Security, Wawanesa Insurance
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Ashley Collette, Social Work Officer, Canadian Armed Forces
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