Bringing Wellness to a Diverse Population: Case Study
Implementing corporate wellness programs for a diverse population can be a challenge, but the right customizations go a long way.
Last fall, WCS was delighted to begin working with a multinational hospitality company with a workforce of more than 130,000 in 90 countries. They came to WCS with a common dilemma: how to bring wellness to their diverse, widespread employees.
Fortunately, our program management team has worked with employee groups of all shapes and sizes, from traditional corporate settings to manufacturing and everything in between. We knew we could engage employees with customized programming and a flexible, hands-on approach.
We started by launching a pilot wellness program for 11 hotel locations. More than 7,000 employees were eligible to participate. The pilot program focused on three goals:
- Evaluate each location’s commitment to wellness
- Re-energize the existing network of wellness champions
- Develop exciting wellness initiatives that would engage the population
First, the WCS program management team developed a custom Wellness Enrichment Survey to be completed by each location. Questions covered a wide range of topics, from the physical environment and opportunities for employees to move at work to the company’s tobacco policy. The results of this survey were critical because they allowed us to evaluate each location’s current capacity for wellness.
Although the company had an existing network of wellness champions (employees who are committed to the company’s wellness program), they needed support. WCS visited site locations and helped champions select “wellness squads”: 3-10 employees to recommend programming options and spearhead new wellness initiatives.
The wellness squads felt that competitive wellness challenges would be a hit, so WCS went to work. Given the diverse population, communications were made available in a variety of formats (email blasts, printed posters and flyers on-site, etc.). We developed a unique communication strategy that introduced the wellness program, explained program components, and advertised the challenge far in advance.
Because WCS is its own biometric screening vendor, we enhanced the challenge kick-off event by offering confidential body composition screenings. This was a perfect way to start the challenge because it gave employees much-needed motivation and helped them understand their current health status.
Although the wellness challenge is still ongoing, participation rates have been high. We’re extremely hopeful that this pilot program will soon expand to other locations, so stay tuned!