Emerging Success Metrics for Corporate Wellness Programs

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According to David Hunnicutt, CEO of WELCOA, 90% of corporate wellness programs in the U.S. are activity based.  These programs usually result from individual passions driving program design (e.g., “let's have a yoga class”, “let's create a walking club”, etc.).  This is a great start, but Dr. Hunnicutt suggests that there is much to improve on this model of design.

With an activity based program, basic evaluation targets typically include:

1) Participation, and
2) Participant satisfaction

What happens when your Corporate Wellness Program evolves?  How do you bring your evaluation techniques into the top 10% of the nation?   Dr. Hunnicutt suggests the following three “emerging evaluation targets”:

1) Knowledge, skills and behaviors.  In order to change for the better, people need to possess the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.  Knowledge and skills might be attained through education programs.  An example of behavior change measurement might be for every employee to reach 10,000 steps a day.
2) Environment.  In order to change for the better, people need to find environments that support the knowledge, skills and behaviors they have developed.
The word environment can be broken down as:
En=to cause
Viron= circle
Ment= a resulting state
So basically, the people in your organization are in a circle –that creates the state they are in.  Don't underestimate the power of the environment.
3) Culture.  Culture is an ever present, powerful force.  It is unseen, unspoken and intangible, yet it influences how people perceive, act, behave and exist regardless of knowledge, skills, behaviors and environment.

Dr. Hunnicutt uses the analogy of  Health as the coin.  On one side of the coin is knowledge, skills and behavior change.  The other side of the coin is the environment side.  The coin purse is culture.  The thing that makes sure that you don't lose what you're trying to protect (the coin, or health).  It is great to have the two sides of the coin, but it is the coin purse (culture) that ensures that this coin does not get lost.

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