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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 13:56

On Wellness, One Size Fits ONE

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Guest Article by Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness


The research is in, and it warrants an exclamation point!  An effective employee wellness program will provide a 125-600% ROI or more through decreased health care, sick time and disability costs, as well as improved recruitment, retention and employee engagement (and that doesn’t take into account the personal enhancements participants experience in their own lives!).  The result of this research has been a two-fold increase in the number of organizations that have launched wellness programs for their employees in recent years.  Only one problem – the first word in the phrase “Effective Employee Wellness Program.”


There are many approaches to employee wellness.  Common entry level approaches include holding an internal “biggest loser”-like contest or providing paid memberships at the local health club. 

While both of these types of programs provide proof to employees (and customers) that the organization is somewhat serious about really doing something beyond lip service, their true effectiveness is limited.  With the “biggest loser”-type of contest, 97% of the people who lose weight will gain it back without an ongoing process.  And in terms of paid health clubs, you’re likely to find that – while a great tool as part of a personalized program – when done as a singular approach, this typically only provides a benefit for 10-20% of employees, the vast majority of whom would have joined a gym anyway.  Both scenarios are missing a key element that can result in participation – and movement – by 50-70% or more of your employees. What is that key element that will move your program from “nice to have” to truly “effective”? 


As you’ve probably noticed many times over, every employee is different.  They are each unique in their goals, histories, situations and pursuits.  As a result, generic, impersonal approaches to employee wellness simply don’t work over the long haul.  Only personalized approaches create the desired results.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Avoid “One Size Fits All” approaches.  We’ve found a clear trend when it comes to employee wellness – the popular “one size fits all” actually turns out to be “one size fits NONE.”  As you look over your proposed approach (or review your wellness vendor’s proposal), think about a few of your employees on opposite ends of the spectrum.  If it won’t meet the needs of these “extremists,” there’s a good chance it won’t work for your organization

  • Build a “customization” ability into the program.  People adjust, grow, back-slide, excel, and change their goals.  For an employee wellness program to be effective, it needs to be able to move along with the individual.  An employee who’s never even owned a pair of running shoes the first 42 years of her life might lose 15 lbs and decide to train for and run a half marathon down the road.  Does the program adjust along with her life?  Or is it all just about weight loss?

  • Take Temperament into account.  This brief article is obviously not intended to review the various personality or temperament styles that exist within your team.  But you see it everyday – people are inherently different in the way they approach various aspects of their lives, including wellness pursuits.  Without getting into details, it’s important for any effective wellness program to take those individual styles into account.  Simply stated – a program that’s perfect for a “Guardian” (who craves structure at the core) will be an absolute disaster for an “Artisan” (a temperament that requires freedom, options and variety), and vice-versa.  

  • Involve others.  There are many ways to put this into practice, ranging from accountability groups to partnership programs.  But one thing is certain – the involvement of others is absolutely essential to achieving long-term success in the area of wellness.  “We become the people with whom we spend time” is an ageless truth that can be effectively integrated into your wellness program.

The “why” is no longer in doubt, as study after study has confirmed the ROI of employee wellness programs.  But as these programs gain acceptance and a broader range of providers step into the marketplace, the “how” is still far from consistent.  As you look for ways to maximize your ROI, be absolutely certain that “personalization” is a central part of the equation as you create a one size fits ONE approach to improving the lives of your employees (and as a result – your own bottom line).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Fall River, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you would like assistance in creating or re-optimizing a wellness program for your employees.

US Corporate Wellness is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 titled The Employee Wellness Dance: Marrying Individual & Organizational Priorities. Register here.

Brad Cooper is CEO of US Corporate Wellness, Inc., the only Colorado-based firm to earn Full Accreditation as a Comprehensive Wellness Provider through URAC and an organization known for helping create meaningful wellness program strategies.  He can be reached personally at 303-521-1570 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  More information and a special report on integrating temperament into your wellness program strategy are available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Read 2068 times Last modified on Monday, 14 September 2020 19:27
Tonya Young

Tonya is our Senior Account Manager and brings eleven years of prior insurance company expertise to Fall River, having worked at Anthem Blue Cross and Great-West Healthcare (now part of CIGNA). Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Originally from Minnesota, she loves the Colorado outdoors and enjoys family time with her young daughter.