The rise in health care costs has led many employers to find new ways to help employees stay healthy and productive while simultaneously reducing health care costs associated with preventable chronic diseases. A trend to address this issue is the growth of workplace wellness or health promotion programs. To gain insight into the best practices that are driving the most successful workplace wellness programs across the country, national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) partnered with the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to release an evidence-based, straightforward workplace health promotion guide for employers
TCHS partnered with Dr. Ron Goetzel, a senior scientist and director at IHPS, who led the research project and worked with his Institute team to develop a series of actionable steps to help guide employers in designing and implementing a new workplace wellness program or evaluating an existing program.
Employers can use this Guide to implement best and promising practices in their workplaces, thereby maximizing the impact of their program and the benefits to employees and the business alike. The Guide offers easy to use, real world recommendations on the design, implementation, and evaluation of workplace health promotion programs with a focus on addressing a variety of important health factors.
To create a comprehensive program, employers must address both the individual risk factors affecting their employees and the organizational factors that help or hinder employees’ efforts to reduce their risks and get healthier. The strongest programs create a culture of health, intertwining individual-level health promotion efforts with the overall company goals and objectives and ensuring that both leadership and the workplace environment provide support for healthy choices.
Programs are also most effective when they are clearly tailored to the goals and needs of specific populations and provide sufficient opportunities for employee engagement and input. Thus, this guide includes steps to address a variety of factors affecting employee health at both the individual and organizational levels.