Although the significant majority of employers offer health promotion programs, for most companies the size and impact of existing programs is minor. Recent research has yielded substantial data in support of worksite health promotion activities, from both medical and economic perspectives. Yet despite this compelling information, corporations have been slow to incorporate more substantial health promotion activities.
Employers must come to see that an investment in employee health promotion programs is an investment in their workforce, likely their greatest asset. The impact of health promotion programs needs to be viewed not simply in the context of a business operations cost. In the face of rapidly escalating healthcare costs, successful health promotion programs have the potential to reduce those expenditures as well as enhance employee performance, resulting in improved business productivity.
To be effective, worksite health promotion programs must be implemented in a systematic manner. To gain senior management support, education regarding the principles of health and productivity is critical. Program selection and implementation must be carefully planned, reflecting the health promotion interests, needs, culture and resources of the organization. Objective, easily measurable parameters of program quality and outcome must be identified prior to program implementation, in order to assess program effectiveness, from both employee health and business productivity perspectives. Collaborative data review through regular reporting can identify program strengths and weaknesses, leading to corrective modifications.