Lead or Follow
I have been in wellness for twenty years now and Dr. Dee Edington was one of our most influential leaders in my early years. His work for the past three decades include best practices in research and consultation while collaborating with the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center. His expertise mostly focused on the individual and health management cost containment strategies. His work is still regarded as some of the best in our field but today, but now, Dr. Edington is urging many of us in wellness to broaden our thinking beyond health management and this traditional approach to wellness. In his blog, http://edingtonassociates.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/the-new-world-of-workplace-wellness-beyond-wellness/ , he explains why it is time for us “change the questions we have been asking” in the past; Do wellness programs really impact organizational medical costs?
In answering this question, the wellness industry has realized only limited success. I believe, like others, that it is time to subscribe to a new level of thinking. Dr. Edington states that we now need to ask; “What is our purpose, our values, our mission and our vision for wellness?”. I couldn’t agree more. I have arrived at this same conclusion over the past few years. I knew there had to be more depth to wellness in order for us to succeed. For this reason, I continue to challenge our clients to answer one simple question: Why wellness for your company? The answers vary but all lead to the desire to create cultures where employees are healthy and well.
I am confident that wellness will be around for decades to come but it’s time to adapt to a new vision. I am committed to follow Dr. Edington’s lead and “have the courage” to look through a new lens and guide employers on a path to a well workplace. In these well environments, employees are passionate, energized and engaged in their work and their lives. These employees will likely be more productive, healthy and drive innovation.
So what will you do? Lead or follow?