Corporate Wellness

An event-based pyramid model

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. The bottom – Creating a solid business case

  3. The core – Developing a comprehensive program

  4. The top – Promoting core values through event(s)

  5. Future Directions

  6. Novelty and Innovation

Executive Summary

Research to date has not been able to provide convincing arguments for the implementation of a ‘comprehensive’ corporate wellness program (Loeppke, Taitel, Haufle, Parry, Kessler, & Jinnett, 2009).  Though the need to promote an active lifestyle (Morgan, 2001; Schor, J. 1991) and its significance at the workplace has been well documented (ACOEM, 2009), increased competitive pressure appears to have created a battle for internal budgets which health has lost.  This paper shall exemplify a way how to utilize corporate wellness programs by socially anchoring an active lifestyle to a company’s core values. 

As researchers we need to be able to bridge the gap between theory and practice to foster change and make it sustainable.  Even though we might be able to argue, in all forms of rationality, that corporate wellness provides business value (Naydeck, Pearson, Ozminkowski, Day, & Goetzel, 2008), we yet may fail to win the battle for scarce financial resources.  If we, however, would be able to establish health and fitness as a core principle within companies there is reason to believe that we can find answers to benefit employees, employers, and society alike (Loeppke, 2008).

Providing valid proof of positive, quantitative measures of success (Dongen, Proper, Wier, van der Beek, Bongers, van Mechelen, Tulder, 2011) is a key requirement to implement internal projects.  The implementation of a corporate wellness program would be no different; thus the foundation of the hereafter proposed pyramid model (cf. Illustration A) is the establishment of a solid business case.  A set of valid, positive measures delivers the foundation to further develop a comprehensive system and creates short-term wins for management to promote the implementation of such a program.  In the mid-term – the core of the proposed model – the researcher argues that a company needs to find ways to utilize an initial proposed program (Stadolska & Konstantinos, 2004; Pitter & Andrews, 1997) to secure validity of the numbers and to enable a company to promote the final piece of the pyramid.  This final element is the establishment of an event which is socially anchored (Clopton & Finch, 2011) with the core values of the respective corporation’s subculture (Donnelly, 1993).  This top component derives its significance from the positive characteristics which have been associated with adventure races (Kay, & Laberge, 2002) and extreme sports (Willig, 2008; Donnelly, 2006; Brymer, Downey, & Gray, 2009).  It has been argued that both types of events deliver virtues other sports have been unable to do.  It is the assumption of the applicant that corporations constitute a subculture where communitarian values (Arai and Pedler, 2003) have to be lived and reiterated to provide socially beneficial outcomes; something, this proposal claims, an event-based corporate wellness program have the power to do.

Exhibit 1 – Corporate Wellness Pyramid Model

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