So you’ve built your wellness program. After engaging your employees in your wellness efforts, the next step you should consider is widening your focus to include dependents, spouses and partners in the program.
Few companies include family members of their employees in wellness programs, but why shouldn’t they?
If the family is included in your health plan, their wellness impacts your ultimate costs. Beyond that, the social support that kids and significant others bring to your employees’ wellness efforts can have a huge impact on their health outcomes.
Family members can easily log their activities, healthy eating habits, or weigh in remotely to participate in your wellness programs (especially if you use an online system for tracking wellness rewards). If you involve families, it may also be easier to get participation at after-hours or weekend events like charity walks or group fitness activities.
Data suggests that family members tend to gain and lose weight together. It makes logical sense that weight loss and health initiatives would be more effective when you have family buy-in.
If only one person in the family is trying to shed pounds or improve their lifestyle, it’s easier to get off track, especially if another person is in charge of planning the meals or doing the grocery shopping.
There will likely be costs to factor in when extending a wellness program to families, but if you’re just adding them to existing efforts, the cost will likely be marginal. Having the influence of families can help take your program to the next level and build a true culture of wellness in your company.