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Happy Hour is 9-5

What a cool name of a business book. I was doing additional research on Health, Productivity and the link to Happiness when I came across this book written by Alexander Kjerulf. My interest was piqued so I read a little more, Lisa was falling behind at work. Every morning she woke up nervous about the workday ahead of her. Every evening she went home thinking of all the tasks she hadn’t gotten around to.”

Immediately I bonded with Lisa, a 35-year old engineer and project manager at a Danish IT company who felt overwhelmed. Basically with business booming, keeping up had become a struggle – she felt she had to run really fast, just to stay in place. Sadly, this sounded like a lot of people I know. 

You’re likely wondering why I am talking about this in a wellness magazine as this is merely a personal time management issue or maybe an HR issue. But is it really? Over the past few years, I have been working to truly understand why traditional population health management programs are good, but not great. I believe I have found the answer, and the good news is I am not alone! In fact, leading Health & Human Capital experts have research and analysis that demonstrates that in order to create a true culture of health, a company must look not only at health risks, but also work environment and emotional behaviors. When taking a total well-being approach, a company not only becomes healthier, but joins the ranks of being a high performing company with happy and more productive people. So how exactly do you implement this philosophy in a corporate setting? 

Here are a few guiding principles to remember, by focusing only on cost reduction, traditional wellness companies miss the mark. They focus on a small number of people with significant health risks or chronic conditions, and nag them into becoming "less of a risk”. How far has that gotten us? This cutting edge philosophy of wellness that yields results requires taking an evidence-based approach that measure and improves all the key drivers of health, well-being and productivity. It needs to be fun, it needs to be social and it needs to be for the entire company. Most importantly, it needs to deliver real value—giving HR and Benefits professionals unique insight into their workforce, and helping them use that knowledge to improve business performance. With an integrated and holistic wellness strategy not only will a company profit with managed healthcare costs, and increased moral and engagement but they will also get more out of the other benefits that they already pay for. 

It’s the easiest way to do wellness right.

Measure and improve what matters most. Look for a solution that goes beyond traditional biometrics alone and starts to span the importance of holistic wellness including personal, financial, and professional as well as the physical pillars of wellness. Make sure that employee's results are presented in a clean, clear way that drives positive action. Employees can be directed—and can direct themselves—to additional resources, which may include health coaching, biometric screening, disease management or employee assistance programs, depending on how sophisticated and integrated you want to get. 

Here are the facts and the formula put simply:

Treat People Like People - put employees in charge of their own self-improvement with a turnkey system built around the science of behavior change. Peer support, company incentives, challenges and goal-tracking all combine to create an engaging, cohesive experience.

Simple Goal-Setting, Tracking and Journaling - The best goals are those that people understand. Provide simple goal-tracking tools and a comprehensive email reminder system keeps each user engaged week to week.

Challenge Your Company... or have peers challenge each other - For some, a challenge or competition is the best way to stay motivated. Issue a Well-Being Challenge to your company, with a drawing or incentive points as a reward. Provide an opportunity for social support and allow users to challenge each other to a well-being goal and comment on each other's progress. Additional peer-to-peer support is available in vibrant community forums.

Track Goals From Anywhere - Goal-tracking is most effective when it's a part of each person's everyday life—on a mobile phone, from a fitness device like a pedometer, or on a computer desktop gadget. Make is easier and make sure it fits their lifestyle. 

Gain Workforce Intelligence – don’t forget to get an employer dashboard that you can provide a clear, concise view of the key drivers of well-being, productivity and health, with a Key Performance Indicator in each area to help you see how your company measures up to your senior management team. Also make sure this data provides you with the actionable "What Now?" recommendations, so you can continue to grow your program.