Reasons Why Corporate Health Plans Fail

Reasons Why Corporate Health Plans Fail

Your health is your wealth and many businesses now realise that their staff’s performance is directly related to a healthy lifestyle. Consequently corporate health programs have become popular but many fail and these failures can be defined in many different ways.

While the corporate health program should improve employee health and lower healthcare costs it should also be designed to improve employee morale. So there are many objectives that will determine the success or failure and the following are reasons why these plans fail.

1. KISS – Keep it simple stupid!!!

Corporate health programs should be simple to understand and follow, removing all of the barriers to participation. The easier it is for your employees to engage, the more likely they will be to produce positive outcomes.

2. Incentives – The Stick vs The Carrot

The stick involves using incentives such as punishments or fines to force employees to improve their health. The carrot approach involves using positive incentives and staff usually responds better to positive reinforcement.

Corporate health programs that harass their staff into submission almost always lower employee morale and rarely get positive wellness outcomes. Behavioural change is difficult and unless motivated, most employees will have a hard time maintaining a healthy lifestyle so positive incentives are vital.

3. Activity Based vs Results Oriented Based

Some corporate health plans are just a series of events, presentations, and incentive programs bundled as a wellness plan because they are easy to administer. While all corporate health programs should be fun, it is vital that the program is well organised and monitored if the goal is to improve employee health and save healthcare costs.

Activity based programs may lack the monitoring to determine if there having any effects on employee health. Consequently they tend to come up short when you exclude the benefits of staff participation.

4. Failure to Create a Health Promoting Environment

While instigating a corporate health program is straight forward, the challenge is to get staff to maintain these healthy behaviours. The key is to create a health-promoting culture in the workplace that supports healthy living.

5. Poor Leadership Support

Limited leadership support tends to adversely affect the success of the corporate health program. Strong leadership support will have leaders who participate in very visible ways. Which highlights to staff that the leadership personally believe it is worth the effort and in the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle.

6. Not Including a Staff Member’s Significant Other

Your staff’s health behaviours are influenced by friends and family. A good employee wellness program will communicate and invite your friends and family to participate. Spouses are perhaps the most important element for a successful outcome.

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