There is a real trend right now in Europe and the US towards Corporate Wellness Programs. Of course we’ve seen this trend before (for the past 30 years on fact). But now on the heels of healthcare reform it is returning with a feverish pitch as companies try to reduce their healthcare costs and possibly qualify for federal tax incentives. The problem is that the ROI that companies will anticipate won’t be so evident.
There are several reasons for this. One, these programs have been around for ever and to the employees they look like same old same old. Nutrition logs, increase physical activity, smoking cessation, blah blah blah. Not that these topics aren’t important but they aren’t new and they fit the “Do something now and benefit later” model. Second, many employees have tried these approaches before and been at best semi-successful at changing their behavior. Third, the office environment has changed drastically. More and more people are traveling, working at home, flexing their hours, etc. so the old measurements of absenteeism just don’t hold true.
This past week I spent several days with one of the real innovators in corporate wellness, Dr. Joyce Young of IBM. Together we are working to develop a new approach to corporate wellness. One that uses an integrated Mindset, Nutrition, Movement and Recovery approach. One that is new, fresh, innovative, and most important takes a new approach – “Do it now, benefit now.” As Dr. Young said, “the thing I love about the Tignum stuff is that it pays you back immediately for the efforts you make.” You feel better, you have more energy, and you perform better (at work and away from work).
As our partner, Mark Verstegen often says, its not about Return on Investment, its really about Return on Involvement. The great thing is that this new approach resonates at all levels of the company – from CEO to receptionist. This is the real way to change the world, impact the top, the middle, the bottom and the bottom line all at the same time.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer