- Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts aims to create networks and share best practices for workplace wellness.
- Through this coordination, workplace wellness can be scaled beyond individual employers and can more easily reach small businesses and other employers who might otherwise face barriers.
- Regional coordination can allow for investment in worksites to promote public health.
- Coordination of multiple employers also facilitates learning and research regarding best practices.
This Bright Spot, the Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts (WWCMA), differs from the other Bright Spots in Workplace Wellness. It emphasizes employee wellness on a broad scale, rather than focusing on employees of a specific company or on marketing a specific type of wellness product to employers. The WWCMA aim to increase attention to, investment in, and quality of workplace wellness. It does so by coordinating workplace wellness programs across employers, providing knowledge and guidance for best practices, and encouraging more employers to increase their emphasis on wellness.
The WWCMA says it “champions wellness programs to help employers encourage healthy employees, healthy families, and healthy communities across the Commonwealth.” It works to coordinate best practices and provide resources for employers throughout Massachusetts; it also provides a network for employers with common goals of wellness for employees and their families.
The WWCMA works toward its vision in several ways, including hosting an annual conference for Massachusetts employers, providing networking throughout the year, awarding outstanding programs, and even providing wellness certifications through The Chapman Institute, which provides professional wellness plans and development. It also provides a number of online resources to members and some that are available to the public.
The WWCMA has the potential to bring deserved attention to the worksite as a place of health. Through its network for sharing best practices, the WWCMA provides an opportunity for employers of all sorts to engage in wellness initiatives, including those that might otherwise be too small to invest in designing a careful and evidence-based program of best practices. In addition, by coordinating a regional network of wellness programs, the WWCMA works to make workplace health promotion a tool not only for individual employers but more broadly a path to health for people throughout the state. In this sense, workplace wellness can be considered a more directly investable public health effort, and not just an employer-specific benefit.
Of course, many employers have already taken on this challenge independently, in promising and impressive ways. But not all organizations have the ability to establish their own wellness programs. For some, this may be for lack of resources, especially as there can be significant upfront costs while the value is not seen until sometime later. For others, it may be an issue of scale. Small businesses may have trouble implementing programs, especially those that occur on-site, such as health education offerings or fitness options.
In providing funding, sharing models and best practices, and coordinating groups of small businesses, the WWCMA plays a role in expanding the reach of workplace health promotion.
- “Vision/Mission Statement,” Wwcma.org, n.d., http://www.wwcma.org/?page=VisionMission.
- “Welcome to the Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts,” Wwcma.org, 2017, http://www.wwcma.org.