What is Wellness Management?
Wellness management is the term applied to corporate programs that help employees balance the needs of their work, lives and the employees' own mental and physical health. A human resources department often implements a wellness program to motivate employees and keep them happy and healthy. The program might include such services as gym memberships, access to mental health counselors and drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs. Alternatively, it could be a reward-based program in which the employee participates in a series of exercises and is granted incentives based upon their performance and participation.
Employee wellness became a great concern to companies in the late 1980s, when they realized that employee health affected productivity. What started as a small, radical movement has grown much more mainstream. Many large corporations provide wellness management programs to all of their employees. Sometimes an employee is required to fill out a health risk assessment immediately after hiring to allow the human resources manager to match up resources that would benefit that employee.
Many wellness management programs in the United States are overseen and accredited by the Wellness Council of America, with similar organizations overseeing international programs. Wellness management is a growing field, with many colleges and universities offering two- and four-year degrees in corporate wellness management. Those with degrees often have a higher pay rate than those without.
While not all employers require an employee to hold a degree before overseeing such programs, it is often necessary to have a degree in a health-related field such as health education or exercise physiology to obtain a job in this field. Some companies require their wellness managers to be certified through one of three major accrediting organizations. American employers prefer a certified health education specialist (CHIS) certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing; certification through the American College of Sports Medicine; or certification in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. International certification varies depending upon location and the specific job.
Studies conducted by the Wellness Corporation of America say the introduction of wellness management programs leads to a healthier environment for employees that is often more supportive and amiable. Feelings of camaraderie and empathy have been reported in businesses that utilize wellness management. Employee health often affects mood, according to the same organization, and those who work for companies where there are added benefits are often happier workers, leading to better customer service.
@SauteePan - I know that some companies offer a wellness weight management program in which the employee gets to join a gym or a diet center for free. It makes sense because healthier employees also cost the company less in insurance premiums so I don’t know why more companies don’t offer a benefit like this.
A wellness center can also be set up rather cheaply in a company’s facility and many of the diet programs will have representatives offer their services onsite so the employee does not even have to leave the building. There really are a lot of things that can be done for all different types of budgets. I know that at my husband’s company they are thinking about implementing a wellness center onsite with a spa and gym. They are looking at various wellness proposals.
@Cupcake15 - I know what you mean. There was a local hospital in my city that was awarded one of the best places to work for working moms because it offered an onsite day care along with a flexible schedule that included the possibility of summers off and a corporate gym.
I think that companies that have corporate gyms also allow the employees to work off their stress by exercising. This form of stress management benefits the employee and the company because if the employee is less anxious and able to think more clearly as a result of the exercise they will also perform better.
I know that when I exercise, I always get creative ideas that sometimes have to jot down afterward. Also, after a workout I forget what I was stressed about. I also think that exercise improves your mood, so it might help the grumpier associates perk up which should improve the office relations and employee morale in general.
I have to say that this field must be very rewarding because you are helping an employee’s quality of life improve so that their productivity will also. I think it is brilliant because companies that take the time to have a corporate day care center for example, will have working mothers that will never leave the job because it is so rare to be able to have the day care facilities where you work.
These types of perks really make a difference to the employee and they spend less time worrying about things outside of work. I also think that the wellness center should offer counseling for employees that may be going through some personal issues. An employee that recently had a loved one pass away is really not in the right frame of mind to perform their job so having a professional to talk to onsite might make things easier.
Post your comments