Building a Wellness Culture Through QWL Programs

In this second installment in an ongoing wellness series, Annette Dowdle, RHU, offers tips on how to build a better wellness strategy starting with Quality of Worklife (QWL) programs. Annette is Senior Vice President of HUB International Gulf South, a member of the HUB National Employee Benefits Executive Team and a Certified Corporate Wellness Coach (CCWC). 

Quality of Worklife (QWL) programs help establish a culture of well-being. Inexpensive and easy to implement, QWL programs deliver a high level of employee satisfaction leading to reduced turnover, and a healthier, stable workforce. QWL programs focus on improving employee morale as well as increasing teamwork and cooperation.

Your company may already offer activities that could be classified as QWL. Existing programs can be enhanced to include an overall wellness theme with a structured goal. Here are a few examples:

  • "Lunch and learns" to address wellness topics such as nutrition. Ask your employees to bring a healthy lunch and vote on who brought the healthiest. The winner receives a small prize that could be donated by a vendor to save expenses.
  • Opt for healthy snacks in vending machines and have an informative talk on the selections.
  • Offer fruit once a week for all employees as a healthy snack alternative.
  • Participate in community outreach programs (Habitat for Humanity, supporting a local school) or team sports (volleyball or the American Heart Walk). These activities encourage teamwork, increase physical activity, and foster a sense of pride.

Your HUB International advisor can help you identify local experts that will speak for free or events that could be sponsored by insurance carriers, vendors or community resources. Many carriers and nonprofit organizations also offer other resources, such as free educational materials. Strive for a wide range of activities and information so you achieve the widest reach and greatest participation.

QWL Programs provide the basic building blocks for a more robust wellness program in the future. Use these programs as the first phase of a three- to five-year plan to implement comprehensive programs that improve the health status of your employees and control your healthcare cost trend.

In future issues, we will explore other wellness program options including traditional and health/productivity management programs. Each program requires different resources, budget and time commitments.