Including Spouses and Family Members
If you don’t include spouses and families in your wellness program, you’re not alone. Many organizations’ first thought is that it seems unnecessary, costly, or even like a distraction to include spouses and families in certain work-related benefits and initiatives. However, we encourage you to ask yourself, why exactly doesn’t your wellness program include spouses and other family members and welcome their participation?
When it comes to your organization’s wellness strategy, inclusion may cost more up-front, but it has the potential to offer big benefits. Research shows that behaviors have a tendency to transfer over time to those closest to you and that having support both at home and in the office can make behavior change easier. Studies have also linked family inclusion in wellness programs to lower health care costs and an overall stronger, healthier and more engaged workforce.
The Benefits of Inclusion
In a recent article from Bravo Well, author Jim Pshock cites numerous studies, including one from Garner and Employee Benefit News, when he shares the following statistics:
- 28% of employees participated in lifestyle coaching if a spouse was involved, compared to 14% with no spousal involvement.
- 88% of employers reported improvements in health risk with spousal involvement, compared to 81% without.
- 70% reported positive impact on medical trend with spousal involvement, compared to 64% without.
- 70% of participants in family inclusive employee well-being programs felt the program was an indication that their employers supported them in and outside of work.
- When employees receive encouragement from family and friends to live a healthier lifestyle, organizations can see an additional $232 of health care savings and productivity gains per employee.
It’s clear that spouses and family members are not just observers in each other’s health. They play an important role in one’s wellness journey. As stated by Employee Benefit News, health coaches have heard comments from clients that a spouse’s healthy changes motivated them, or that they and their spouse are working together toward similar goals.
If you don’t already include spouses and family members in your wellness program and are ready to get started, click here for a list of ways to start including them!