The Biggest Problem With Wellness Programs Can be The Name Itself

  • Sep 19, 2013

Should Your Wellness Program be Called Something Else Instead?

Should You Eliminate the Word Wellness from Your Wellness ProgramAustin, Texas: Wellness Programs are being run by the majority of Fortune 1000 companies and even by a large percentage of smaller organizations as well.

So it seems clear that motivating employees to greater health and wellness is a good and practical idea, in and of itself.

However, when talking to colleagues and customers, there does not seem to be a clear cut agreement on the effectiveness of wellness programs.

There is also a lack of evidence of a solid ROI calculation that is achieved by these programs.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is in the name itself: Wellness Programs.

If you ask 20 employees to define wellness, you will get 20 answers.

If you ask your C-Level executives to define it, you will get that number of definitions too.

Perhaps the term “wellness” should be replaced with something else–something more concrete.

A term that will help employees visualize their goals and what it will take to achieve it.

After all, how do you visualize “wellness” ?

What kind of motivating pictures can you crop out on put on your computer and mirror of ” wellness”?

It is too vague and means different things to everyone – so how can you effectively put a wellness program together when everyone is thinking of something different?

Perhaps some of these titles might be more effective:

  • BMI Reduction Program?
  • Move Your Fanny Program?
  • Get in Shape Program?
  • Heart Attack Prevention Program?
  • Lose Your Belly Program?
  • Eat Less Junk Food Program?
  • Stop Smoking Now Program?
  • Lose Weight Program?
  • Walk 20 Minutes a Day Program?
  • Exercise 5 Days a Week Program?
  • Eat More Fruit & Vegetables Program?
  • Insurance Cost Reduction Program?

Now, of course, many of these titles are said in jest. But they are clear and concise, at least.

Now, I like the word “wellness” so much that is is the first name of our company (Wellness Incentives Plus). But, in hindsight, I think the word is meaningless– and harmful to bottom-line results.

Perhaps better terminology will help both the executives and your employees understand the true nature of what is expected of them – instead of a generic, zen-like term such as “wellness”.

A better name may help your employees focus on the one clear objective of your program – which makes it easier to promote and measure.

Too much ambiguity in a name and in a program only causes confusion.

What are the two most important goals of your wellness program?

Can you re-work your plan and come up with clearer goals and a better title?

Your program name should sum up and crystallize the objective

I’m afraid “wellness program” is just too New Age and ambiguous to be effective.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a to healthier workforce!