Bosses embrace wellness

HR pros, not so much

The sign for the Barnes-Jewish Hospital is seen in St. Louis, Monday, March 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) The sign for the Barnes-Jewish Hospital is seen in St. Louis, Monday, March 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Are human resources professionals biting their tongues when it comes to assessing wellness plans?

Employers are increasingly adding wellness plans to their benefits packages, drawn by the promise that healthier employees will make fewer demands on their health insurance.

But a survey suggests those in charge of administering the plans aren’t necessarily big fans.

Consero Group did the survey of an elite group of Fortune 1000 companies, receiving responses from just 47 HR officers. But if these respondents are any sort of bellwether, they don’t share the C Suite’s wellness infatuation.

Fully 47 percent told Consero they didn’t believe their wellness programs were effective. That flummoxed Consero President and CEO Paul Mandell, who’d expected more support.

“Given the time and effort put into educating staff about healthy living, it’s surprising such a significant number indicated they do not believe their wellness programs are effective,” he said.

Part of the answer could lie in responses to other questions. For instance, 57 percent told surveyors their budgets were big enough to allow them to do a good job. Perhaps more disturbingly, another 43 percent admitted their HR personnel didn’t have the talent to achieve departmental goals—among which would be effective management of wellness programs.

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