How to choose the RIGHT corporate wellness consultant

A well-designed and executed corporate wellness program leads to better productivity, less absence and disability, lower benefit costs and happier employees, all of which is better for your company’s bottom line. A workplace wellness consultant understands how to introduce such wellness programs so that employees will want to adopt it. And they understand how to measure the success of such a program.

In other words, a corporate wellness consultant knows how to create a sustainable and effective workplace wellness program.

But how do you choose the right workplace wellness consultant for your business? Here’s a checklist to help you figure it out.

A corporate wellness consultant should:

Focus on assessment and strategy rather than simply introducing a pre-set program. An effective wellness program focuses on needs, interests, communication, internal support, prior successes and challenges, demographics, and more. These are all ongoing considerations that are crucial and specific to each organization and they need to be analyzed and planned for prior to the design of an effective wellness solution.  

Be objective and impartial. The consultant you choose needs to be willing to figure out the best wellness fit for your company making use of all that the industry has to offer when designing your solution.

Have experience in creating company wellness programs. An effective workplace wellness program must be able to promote and encourage change. Your consultant should have experience doing so in various industries and in organizations of different sizes.

Think beyond education. We learn best by doing, and for long enough to change a habit. If your strategy is only education (e.g. lunch ’n learn), you will be disappointed with the lack of results. Your consultant needs to create a plan focused on behaviour change and that means the opportunity for people to APPLY their learning.

Be a behaviour change expert.  The science of behaviour change is tricky business. Intentions aren’t enough (the diet industry is evidence of this). You need someone who strategizes around how to get people to implement those things they have been “trying” to do on their own forever.

Look at employee wellness from a comprehensive, multi-faceted point of view. An effective workplace wellness program that actually alters behaviours and changes habits must promote community and bring together the three pillars of physical health, mental health and organizational culture.

Be willing to build a yearly and long-term plan. Wellness is not something that is here today, gone tomorrow; it must take multiple approaches to all three pillars over an extended period of time.

Be ready to provide ongoing support. Effective wellness programs don’t run themselves. You need someone with expertise in your court, over the long run, making sure that initiatives are prioritized, executed, continue to get you the results your looking for and adapted as needed.

Be able to show measurable results. Workplace wellness programs are an opportunity to influence cost trends and engage employees and you need to understand your ROI.

Understand how to get management buy-in and support. Everyone from the top down needs to be on board with your wellness program and nothing kills participation faster than employees feeling that their efforts are being met with resistance from their superiors.

Provide testimonials and references. Like with any consultant, proof of a previous job well done goes a long way.

Hire a wellness advocate

Hiring a workplace wellness consultant is about hiring a wellness partner to develop, evolve and support that program. Because, at the end of the day, if a program is done right and offered for the right reasons, everyone wins.

At Thorpe Benefits, we have developed customizable employee wellness programs around over 20 areas of health. Read about two of them: employee mental health and wellbeing and financial wellness.