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Employers look to create a culture of wellness

And good luck with that. Businesses appreciate the benefits of keeping employees healthy, but many are flummoxed about just how to do it, according to a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. Employers are beginning to understand that more “health programs without an articulated strategy may not be an effective approach to affect behavior change. Instead, most now point to establishing a culture of health as their top priority…” to tackle major lifestyle problems like stress, obesity, and lack of physical activity.

Now, “low usage rates show that the programs are not working as well as they could.”

The authors recommend:

  • Developing a strategy that recognizes the needs and desires of the employee population
  • Tailoring programs to individuals and specific demographic groups
  • Communicating to employees and giving them incentives to change behavior
  • Consistently measuring the effectiveness of the strategy and individual programs, and making changes that evolve with the progress of the workforce

What U.S. employers consider main lifestyle challenges for workers

Top priorities for health and productivity programs

Note: Based on a survey of 199 employers taken between May and July 2013.

Source: “2013/2014 Staying@Work Report,” Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health.

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