Culture change to support wellness program deployment requires several steps to be taken. This blog speaks to these steps and a practical example of the benefits when these are followed.
Culture change to support wellness program deployment requires several steps to be taken. A model to support culture change has been developed by Robert F. Allen, Ph.D. and Judd Allen, Ph.D. of the Human Resources Institute, LLC. The model is called Normative Systems Culture Change Process Methodology. The Noanrmative Systems Culture Change Process is designed specifically to assist individuals and groups in their efforts to build supportive cultural environments for lasting change. “The Culture Change Planner” published by the Human Resources Institute
, states the following:
LASTING SUCCESS = INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE + CULTURAL SUPPORT
To achieve long-term success, the good ideas and hard work of individuals must be linked to cultural norms, values and support systems. The Normative Systems Culture Change Process has four phases:
• The first phase establishes a clear picture of the current situation, sets specific measurable objectives and commits leaders to a vision for change. These activities serve to tailor the change process to the problem and setting.
• The second phase introduces members to the project vision and invites participation in the change process. This phase also teach skills in creating a climate that supports change--i.e., one with a sense of community, a shared vision, and a positive outlook.
• The third phase must take place on multiple levels and focuses on individual self-help, peer support, organizational support and leadership development.
• The fourth phase is both an ending and a beginning. An ending because phase one performance, programmatic and cultural measures are repeated for evaluation purposes and successes are celebrated. This phase also represents a beginning in that new performance, programmatic and cultural objectives are established.
For wellness programs to be successful, organizations must recognize that culture change may be required. Many wellness programs can be considered to be “check box” solutions. This type of wellness program allows an organization to say “We have a wellness program”, yet in reality what they have does not change behavior or drive employee engagement. In order for wellness programs to be effective they must become part of the culture of the organization.
Recently one of our clients had a wellness committee meeting to discuss the current state of their wellness program. The most telling comment came when one of the wellness committee members stated “our wellness program feels different now”. She went on to describe the “ripple effect” that the program had in getting employees engaged in wellness. The wellness program had become part of the culture of the organization.
Management and staff were aligned in the wellness programming efforts and as a senior manager noted “the enthusiasm for participation in the wellness programs has gone viral in our employee population”. When a wellness program implementation has, at its core, support for culture change, the opportunity for success is greatly increased. Culture change is hard but it should not be ignored when planning and implementing a comprehensive wellness program.