Washington Business Journal hosted a discussion on workplace wellness that focused on some of the pitfalls to avoid when implementing a wellness program in your workplace.

Five ways you can waste money on your wellness program:


1. Look at wellness as just another health expense: “What they don’t realize is that expense is a necessity … to keeping the happiness factor of the employees, to keeping productivity up. So it’s not, ‘Oh, a wellness plan. How much should I spend?’ … You should throw lots of dollars at it.”

2. Perform random acts of wellness: “You’re working with a small wellness budget, so you try to spread out your wellness programs and do things once every so often. Bad idea to have inconsistent messaging.”

3. Buy into a program and park it on your Intranet: “Another way businesses waste money is by having programs that are under the radar where the employer says, ‘Go to the health plan’s website and that’s where you get your wellness information. That doesn’t work because only the worried will go there.”

4. Don’t have a strategy: “Biometric screening is very, very expensive, and where most employers fail is they spend their money there, which is diagnostic in nature, and then they do nothing with the information, which is frustrating when you see it. It’s like, ‘Why did you do that?’ And it’s because they lack a strategy behind that.”

5. Don’t listen to your own employees: “You’ve got a lot of wellness ideas, but do you know if you’re employees are even interested in them? The best way to waste money is to ignore what they really want.”