Since the RAND Worksite Wellness Program Study was released, there has been much debate on both sides of the fence as to the interpretation of the message that should be taken from the report findings. It’s clearly not a black and white issue as some would lead you to believe. The first comer to the party — a Reuters article claiming worksite wellness “fails” — garnered most of the attention for its sensational position.
This was followed by an array of publications from the provider side using wellness research to defend their turf and the integrity of the industry itself. Like many things in life, this topic is far more complicated than a surface level "yes" or "no" answer to the question of whether the industry is “working” or not.
Companies need to evaluate their wellness providers on a regular basis and ask some hard questions. Does it matter more if a company has a slick marketing presentation or if their cultural influence and program ideology match up with yours? What about if they can check all of the boxes on a spreadsheet or if they specialize in your program goals and objectives?
Companies need to begin being more discriminating with their worksite wellness dollars if they are going to achieve the maximum return in the form of medical dollars saved, better health, happier employees or more productivity.