#Nextchat: Who's Responsible for Workplace Wellness?

If you’re an HR professional, you’ve probably been tasked in the past few years with creating a workplace wellness program–or ramping up the one that’s already in place. Consulting with health and wellness experts, and with other HR professionals to understand what they’re doing at their organizations, was likely a first step in the planning process.

While some praise workplace wellness programs for the positive influence on employees’ health habits, others feel they can cause mental and physical harm to employees who struggle with embarrassing weigh-ins, invasive questionnaires and aggressive goals.  

Many workplace wellness programs offer healthier dietary offerings, gym memberships and time off for exercise. This hopefully serves as a way to attract, retain and motivate employees, in addition to decreasing health care costs. However, can you really ask employees questions like: “Do you take recreational drugs?” or “How many alcoholic drinks do you have per week?” and expect them to tell the truth?  And is it fair to reward an employee who attaches a pedometer to their dog with a bonus for walking all those extra steps?

Additionally, who is ultimately responsible for the health of an organization’s employees?  In her blog titled “HR, Heal Thyself – Wellness in the Workplace,” HR professional Robin Schooling asks: “Is that really the role of the employer?  Should HR practitioners, who are neither licensed medical professionals nor nutrition experts, be the people responsible for chastising employees for their lifestyle choices?”

What does a successful workplace wellness program look like and what are the best approaches to creating one? There are many workplace wellness programs and vendors out there, but how do you know which will work for your organization and how do you get employees to respond?

Join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on April 16 for #Nextchat with special guest @RobinSchooling.  We’ll explore the pros and cons of workplace wellness initiatives and how you can create a successful program for your organization.

Q1. Has your organization implemented a workplace wellness program in the past five years and if so, why?

Q2. Should HR professionals be responsible for the health and wellness of their organization’s employees?  Why or why not?

Q3. What are the DOs when creating a workplace wellness program?  What are the DON’Ts?

Q4. What types of activities/events does your organization’s workplace wellness program offer to employees?

Q5. What types of incentives could you offer to employees who meet or exceed workplace wellness program goals?

Q6. What challenges did you have when you implemented a workplace wellness program at your organization?

Q7. What adjustments have you made to your workplace wellness program since its inception?

Q8. What are some ways you can encourage hesitant employees to participate in a workplace wellness program?


What’s a Twitter chat?

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