Workplace Health Promotion Programs and Staff
Health and Wellness Programs: Is Staff Knowledge Important?
If workplace health promotion programs are to successfully address the increase in occurrence and reduce the severity of chronic illnesses they should be supervised by staff who understand how to make the design applicable to the changing needs of the workforce.
Health and wellness program staff members need to be capable of tailoring health promotion programs to the variety of conditions presented in each corporate environment.
Tobacco use, over-eating, and substance abuse are physically and psychologically addictive. These types of behaviors do not readily lend themselves to change or to health promotion programs. They are firmly integrated into the social, emotional and environmental fabric of each individual lifestyle and established over years of interactions.
A motivating incentive put forth by a health and wellness program is not strong enough to ratify addictive behavior beyond an initial fascination with the appeal of the incentive.
This kind of drastic lifestyle change will not occur merely as the result of instruction or of an enrolment in a health promotion program. Adults need to believe that there will be positive consequences for their behavior that outweigh any negative results. The choice then, becomes a conscious decision based on consideration of the pros and cons for both behaviors.
At the root of some unhealthy habits is an environment that is unsupportive of healthy choices. In order to achieve an overall wellness, the health promotion program should endorse an environmental shift from reinforcing unhealthy actions to supporting health-related behavior. Additionally, if the health and wellness program applies negative consequences for choosing to continue the unhealthy conduct, it would help to enforce the choice of a healthy alternative.
Modification of lifestyle choices requires knowledge of and training in health promotion program design. Specific health and wellness program objectives for individuals need to be isolated in order to address the range of illnesses present in the employee population.
Training assistants in-house to take over the management of health and wellness programs is advantageous, or hiring an independent wellness vendor from Wellness Companies, once a return on investment is realized, is always another option.
Health and Wellness Program Staff: Interpersonal Skills Enhance Health Promotion Programs
Not all employees will have the same health and wellness program needs. It is important to the success of the health promotion program for the staff to recognize cultural, racial, gender or age-related differences. Health promotion programs require a holistic approach to wellness with the recognition that wellness encompasses every dimension of the personality.
Effective health and wellness program staff should, therefore, be able to design a health promotion program that integrates objectives from a social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional perspective for each employee.
Interpersonal comfort also assists health promotion program staff to mediate health and wellness program goals between management, employees and outside health care professionals who also differ within a wide range of communication styles.
Health and Wellness Program Staff: Effective Communication Skills
Health and wellness program staff need to be able to accurately assess the success of the health promotion program and design a written report for the purpose of justifying new equipment, extra training, program incentives, or other program alterations.
This is an ongoing part of health and wellness program maintenance as well as an integral aspect of corporate budget planning. The health promotion staff should provide a bridge between upper management and all levels of employee representation.
Health and Wellness Programs: An Adult Learning Model
Malcolm Knowles, esteemed professor from North Carolina University theorizes that adult learning is optimized in a setting that is based on:
- Opportunities for active, self-directed learning where participants can emphasize what they need to make their job easier, safer and more efficient.
- Relevance of past experience where the participants’ previous knowledge is used as a base for building new skills and developing programs centered on personalized needs.
- Readiness to learn that recognizes an opportune moment for teaching or for presenting information that will prevent illness or accidents.
- Problem-oriented presentation in which employees who have a current health issue are assisted with their immediate concerns and personal distress.
Health and Wellness Program Staff: Recognizing Employee Diversity
Professionally trained health and wellness program staff will work with the employee population and adapt health promotion programs to meet both the industry and individual needs. Understanding of and patience with diverse communication styles, levels of education, various spiritual beliefs and mitigating environmental factors will achieve a greater degree of effectiveness in the health and wellness program.
Writer Bio: Written by John Bates for Wellness Proposals. John is a former insurance agent who spent more than 20 years specializing in employee benefits and group health insurance. John’s writing about Corporate Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness Programs articles can also be found on the Infinite Health Coach and Infinite Wellness Solution’s websites.