Most worksite wellness programs today are not really “true” wellness programs. Their focus is not really wellness, but rather employee health status management. And you do want to see how your current program measures up to wellness, right?

We call what we do today worksite wellness. But is it really wellness? I think not.

Traditionally, wellness has been portrayed as being a multi-dimensional concept. While the different wellness models vary slightly in the number and names of the different dimensions, the National Wellness Institute’s wellness model consists of six dimensions:

• Physical

• Emotional

• Social

• Intellectual

• Spiritual

• Occupational

If worksite wellness programs today were actually true wellness programs, the programming they offer would be as multi-dimensional as the wellness model is itself.

What might the programming and interventions consist of in a “true” worksite wellness program? Since there are multiple interventions for each of the wellness dimensions, it is important to see any list of interventions and programming as being just a set of ideas or possibilities and not as a finite list.

Physical – All of the programming and interventions seen in worksite wellness programs today could be incorporated into this dimension.

Emotional – Topical areas in this dimension could include: stress management, resiliency, optimism, positivity, mental health and mental illness, substance abuse, happiness, gratitude, humor and mindset.

Possible programming and interventions might include:

Stress management – The teaching of coping skills and relaxation methods

Positivity – Learning about how to best apply the Positivity Ratio or how positive emotions relate to physical health

Substance Abuse – Development of low risk drinking practices

Social – Topical areas in this dimension might include: social relationships, family relationships, best friend at work and peer relationship concepts.

Possible programming and interventions might include:

Peer related concepts – Development of a wellness buddy system, development of peer support, mentor and facilitator programming

Family relationships – Development of family wellness and wellness at home initiatives

Social relationships – Providing space and opportunities for employees to get together regarding specific health and wellness related issues and board game nights

Intellectual – Topical areas in this dimension could include brain and health fitness.

Possible programming and interventions might include: mindfulness training, meditation training, Sudoku puzzle challenges and competitions, memory and attention training and other cognitive related exercises

Spiritual – Topical areas in this dimension could include: meaning and purpose of life, beliefs and values.

Possible programming and interventions might include: Exercises and practices related to personal meaning and purpose and values clarification exercises

Occupational – Topical areas in this dimension could include: professional/career development, meaningful and purposeful work, job fit, personal performance, morale and motivation.

Possible programming and interventions might include:

• Partnering with the training and development unit or team for joint program delivery

• Incorporating health, wellness and wellbeing content into new employee orientation, supervisor development and leadership development trainings

• Offer wellness leadership training

• Partnering with the human resources unit for joint program delivery

A true worksite wellness program would be comprehensive in nature and offer wide-ranging benefits.

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