Why? Because doing so narrows the scope and usefulness of what companies are trying to achieve and how successful they are –and creating a culture of wellness is the big-game hunting.
I could go all professorial on you about the difference between programs and cultures (finally putting my M.Ed. to some use), but that’s a tired approach. Suffice it to say, calling something a program is the kiss of death, especially when launched by HR.
Why? Because it’s the flavor of the month, ignored from the get-go. When a program does scrape out an existence, it lives a solitary life, segregated from its brethren programs. And like most programs, it’s very lock-step, very uniform, and certainly not very deeply felt.
Contrast that with attaining personal wellness. Wellness isn’t lock-step. It’s not uniform, and it’s definitely deeply felt. Wellness is challenging. It’s fitful and wobbly. It can be annoying (and so, too, can the people who preach it…I know).
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Wellness needs to be an integral part of a company’s culture, not just a program, if it’s to stand a chance. That’s because a culture is pervasive, deeply ingrained, and unshakable. It’s shared, valued, and ritualized by all.
And when companies start thinking about wellness as part of their culture rather than as a one-off program, they’ll start examining their other values and rituals, and yes, the programs, that run roughshod over this cultural norm.
This was originally published on Fran Melmed’s Free-Range Communication blog.