Corporate wellness has of late been a dietitian buzzword. We’ve heard it bounced around the dietitian community with a lot of optimism and excitement, but some confusion too. What exactly is corporate wellness? Don’t worry, we’re here to fill you in! We at Healthie have been so lucky to meet a few corporate wellness dietitians, like Caroline Susie and Alicia Blittner – check out our interviews with each of them to hear about their experience in corporate wellness!
What is Corporate Wellness?
Corporate Wellness programs are programs sponsored or provided by employers for the benefit of their employees, to promote positivity, illness prevention, and a healthful lifestyle. Though the offerings and the exact structure of the program may vary by the program, one of the biggest components of corporate wellness is nutrition. Many programs will offer one-on-one nutritional counseling lead by an expert – namely an RD.
Why Registered Dietitians?
Registered dietitians are particularly desirable candidates to run these wellness programs. Recently there has been a push for more dietitians to enter into the realm of corporate wellness just to quell the demand. Though many corporate wellness offerings have been well-established since 2010, with the recent expansions in insurance coverage to support nutritional counseling, more and more employers are looking to dietitians to take the reins. Dietitians are not the only specialists eligible to run corporate wellness programs – many health coaches and nutritionists have found a place in this field as well. The number of corporate wellness programs out there is only expected to grow. 50% of companies expect to make changes to their health wellness offerings and or add wellness incentives in 2016 or 2017.
In comparison to other wellness programs that may be offered, a registered dietitian’s services are extremely low-cost to the company. Most dietitians when offering one-on-one counseling require little more than a private space to meet and talk, additionally saving money on equipment and program maintenance especially in comparison to the popular alternative in-office gyms. Because these wellness programs target illness prevention, companies with wellness program offerings often are able to qualify for a reduction in fees from their health insurance companies.
Corporate wellness programs were created to improve the quality of life for employees, which in turn, betters employee retention, lowers sick-day absences, and overall, encourages bonds between employees as the support each other in reaching their health goals.
What Does it Mean to Direct a Corporate Wellness Program?
Corporate Wellness dietitian, Alicia Blittner shared her experience, saying, “It has been great incorporating nutrition & wellness programs into an already wellness-minded culture. Since I am on-site, I am taking a holistic approach by trying to work on various aspects of the environment and food offerings in addition to having meditation, health education classes, and individual one on one nutrition counseling.”
On corporate wellness, Caroline Susie shared, “I truly appreciate corporate wellness, because it gives dietitians a platform to promote preventive health care before chronic diseases develop. For example, I have seen among my clients, how annual biometric screenings prevented more than 10 critical health incidents; this was all because an employer saw the value in offering this sort of benefit – how cool is that? Employers are increasingly seeing the benefits of corporate wellness as a means to keep their employees healthier, happier, and more productive, and I can’t wait to see this facet of the healthcare system continue to grow.”
You can check out more on Caroline Susie’s experience of corporate wellness with her article, “Worksite Wellness and the RDN.”
For more on corporate wellness, check out, “Clarity in the Confusion of Corporate Wellness Programs,” by Krista Yoder Latortue and “Workplace Wellness — Companies Make Employee Health Their Business” by Juliann Schaeffer. Looking for more advice? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! 🙂