At the end of each year, a hush falls over the world, as it awaits the arrival of…
…the annual end-of-year wellness wrap-up that Jen Arnold and I record for her Redesigning Wellness podcast! It’s here!
This year was no different. Of course, this year was completely different, but Jen and I still managed to offer some reflections on 2020 in employee wellness. Unlike previous years, this time we forgot to prepare for took a pass on the nerding out on analysis of peer-reviewed studies that have tested the patience of delighted audiences in years past.
Oh, we have predictions. We’ve got nothing. Our best shot at predictions were: Continue reading »
Work-from-home, social connection, telehealth, social justice, mental health… and, of course, the COVID-19 disease itself have been the hot topics of 2020 in the employee wellbeing world.
Meanwhile, the US wellness industry — the business of employee wellbeing — grinds on, with a slew of trends and transactions that foretell its future. Here, I’ve summarized the commercial patterns and milestones that signal which doors are closing and which may open. Continue reading »
I’ve fessed up about two of my employee mental health flops. But I’ve had successes, too, including providing health care workers with one of the best-proven opportunities to get stress under control.
The scene was a large population of employees at a major medical center, where I served as employee wellness program manager, and partnered with our internal Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to offer the Yale Work and Family Stress Program. EAP counselors went to Yale to get trained on the program, and made a few adaptions suitable for our health care worker population. Continue reading »
In her incisive Redesigning Wellness interview with Julian Reif (principal investigator of the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study), Jen Arnold elicits answers to controversial questions like how the research team defined “comprehensive program” and why they believe their randomized study design “cancels out” most previous wellness program study findings.
Thanks Jen (and thank you for the shout-outs), and thank you, Julian Reif.
Essential listening for wellness leaders who care about results. Click below to go to the podcast episode page:
198: Research on the Effectiveness of Traditional Wellness Programs with Julian Reif, Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics at the University of Illinois
Podcast interviewers and conference organizers often ask me to talk about my mistakes and failures. Thank you very much.
It’s okay; I get it. Others can learn from our mistakes and also take solace in the fact that we all make them. Listening to some presenter prattle on about how perfect their programs are — especially when they’re from companies with nearly unlimited resources — can be discouraging rather than inspiring. (Besides, if our professional social media is pervaded exclusively by self-promotion and ungrounded thought leadership, it’s hard to grow in a way that’s relevant to the real-life work environment.)
For some reason, two of my professional flops fell in the realms of mental health and emotional well-being. Continue reading »
Rajiv Kumar, M.D., and I explore 6 surprising ideas that will transform employee wellness in this webinar recording from Thursday, February 22, at 2 PM ET.
I’ve had the pleasure of co-presenting with Rajiv on several occasions, and the conversations always take a turn toward the unexpected. I elaborate on my latest passion, job crafting, and how it may surpass other popular solutions for health-related job stress, burnout, and disengagement.
Rajiv brings his unique perspective as a community-minded entrepreneur, physician, and vendor. I’m always enriched by our conversations, and I think you will be, too.
The process of evaluating employee wellbeing and sustainability programs depends on the organization and its goals.
Here are tips that can be applied in almost any situation to assure your findings meet your needs:
- Have a plan. Include program component evaluations, communication (and other process) evaluations, and overall program outcome evaluations.
- Identify metrics based on program goals. You wouldn’t, for example, spotlight biometric screening data to measure a program’s effect on culture or employee engagement.
- Rely on data. Use story and data visualization to communicate and provide insight into data.
- Benchmark against reference groups, including vendor book-of-business, national norms, and (yes) sometimes non-participants.
- Understand biases, including the powerful affect of selection bias.
- Leverage existing sources of data, such as HRAs, biometrics, safety, employee engagement surveys, EAP, HR info systems, and disability.
- Identify relationships between findings. How are physical health, productivity, employee engagement, behavioral health, and well-being strategies affecting each other?
- When using surveys, use validated instruments, when possible.
- Engage in-house experts (eg data analysts), if available.
- Require vendors and consultants to provide expert evaluation consultation.
- Take vendor self-evaluations with a grain of salt.
- Be conservative in conclusions.
- Communicate evaluation findings throughout the organization, including to participants.
- Be transparent about findings, even when they are disappointing.
- Follow participant cohorts to show change over time.
- Generally, seek to measure sustained outcomes, not just results immediately post-program.
- Understand intent-to-treat methodology, and use it if you’re trying to do a rigorous analysis of health interventions.
- Evaluation goals differ – for example, garnering program support vs. quality improvement. Establish methodology accordingly.
- If in doubt, strive to be as rigorous as possible, but don’t get bogged down in perfectionism unless you’re publishing research.
If your organization needs help with its program evaluation, contact Jozito LLC’s principal consultant, Bob Merberg, using this website’s contact form.
Wow. I’m super appreciative of Dean Witherspoon from Health Enhancement Systems letting me be me in a “tell-all” Well-Being Practitioner interview.
[READ THE FULL INTERVIEW (page 4 of the pdf)]
You’ll find the interview to be a light-hearted and quick read (I called it a “tell-all,” but I’m stopping short of calling it a “romp”!). In it, I offer my offbeat musings on employee wellness:
- The common culprit that induces stress in all industries
- The underpinnings of employee wellness program success
- Challenges that lie ahead for the industry
- My numero uno best practice.
But I also get personal, sharing…
- How I achieve balance in my own life and work
- My wellness pet peeves
- The book that transformed my take on work and health
- Why I’m optimistic about wellness
There’s more fun crammed into this quick read… About banishing jesters; Dean’s offer to grant me unlimited funding; and how employers can really get their wellness on.
Check it out, if you have a chance. And let me know if you like it. 🙂
[READ THE FULL INTERVIEW (page 4 of the pdf)]