Satori Radio Podcast | Blog

Episode 47 – 5 Challenges To Effective Workplace Health Programs

Episode 47: 5 Challenges To Effective Workplace Health Programs

Satori recognizes that there are 5 key challenges to running effective workplace health programs. These challenges have posed significant barriers for personal development, and should be taken into account before further mental health damage ensues.

Show-notes for Satori Radio Episode 47 below: 5 Challenges To Effective Workplace Health Programming

Satori recognizes that there are 5 key challenges to running effective workplace health programs. These challenges have posed significant barriers for personal development. If you’re a manager working in the field of health care, you’ve likely taken these into account already.

Nonetheless, mental health is an issue at the forefront of every hospital executive’s mind. Many are scratching their heads as to how they’re going to push through the changes. There are already so many challenges and barriers to running effective workplace programs. COVID-19 in the mix doesn’t make it any easier!!

Why Bother With Hospital Programs?

Instead of allowing COVID-19 to become an excuse for placing powerful experiential programs on the back burner, managers could be a driving force in 2021, encouraging personal development and reinforcing powerful health.

But… you need to know what you’re really up against in order to push through some of the staff rebuttals.

I mean, who on earth could have envisioned what 2020 had in store for us? Globally, HR professionals are still coming to terms with the challenges that COVID-19 has brought. This pandemic has created so many staffing challenges. Additionally, it’s placed a tremendous amount of risk on our frontline health staff.

Help Shift The Focus

Chances are, your employees are seeking-out stress management techniques, and/or anxiety-counselling sessions, as a way to cope with managing the tensions. Everyone’s health routine has shifted. While some are coping beautifully, being off at home with no kids and recalibrating in gratitude for the break, many others are having tremendous challenges with coping through this pandemic.

And Health Managers have taken-on a tremendous amount of stress. They’re probably feeling like they need their own health coach 24/7 right now! They may be questioning if their staff will show-up for their shift. Chief Nursing Officers are managing teams that “are fed-up”, and sometimes they’re not quite sure what they’re mostly “fed-up” with.

The pandemic has been a tough juggling act for staff morale, leaving most managers feeling a bit deflated and unsure of what they can do to support staff. On the other hand, we have some workplaces that are not actually that stressful, because some hospital units were shut-down, with some people working out of home. This meant the workplace was quieter. Yet, their family situations have become increasingly more complex. So, your staff members have likely shifted their routines as a result of kids and family members being at home, in such a way that they’re unable to attend to their personal needs. 

Suffering In Silence

Even if your staff are not speaking about the stress, they may be quietly suffering from extreme anxiety or fear. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed mental health into the wellness spotlight and has placed a need to learn self-care. Self-care has been a topic of great important to occupational health, and yet, placed on the back burner.

At Satori, we help employees learn how to manage their mental health, and help them return to the same productivity levels – if not more improved – than before the pandemic. We tackle mental health differently than occupational health medicine does. We come at it from a system’s approach, empowering their personal development. By helping staff attend to their personal goals, we’re igniting their passion for life again.

5 challenges and barriers to the effective implementation of workplace health and wellness programs

#1. Poor communication

Today, more than ever, hospital briefs are coming-out in drones, and they’re competing for your attention. The topic of such briefs have become a huge barrier for engaging workplace health and wellness programs. The issue here is not COVID-19 and the #of briefs, but rather an issue with management not knowing how to communicate with their employees and keep them engaged in their lives.

To be blunt, it’s not easy to hit the dopamine button of your staff with all this COVID-19 stress! But if you keep offering-up the standard “stress management” “crisis management” inservices to your staff,  they are not going to hear you!! I think that today’s health professionals deserve something different – something more well-rounded and holistic that will help engage the whole person.

Gone are the days of hanging posters and letting information flow on its own. They don’t need strategies – they need a system.  Learning systems for better health takes time, and patience – and the right type of messaging. Otherwise, we risk losing qualified staff to stress and burnout.

At Satori, we have The ProMind Experience, and we spend approximately 4 weeks in our on-boarding process, ensuring all stakeholders get the right message. That is, managers need to understand what the programs about, and what it’ll do for their staff. The frontline staff need to be engaged by us, in order to make the right decision on whether they want to join the program. Because everyone is faced with competing demands, Satori takes communications seriously – helping everyone relax while we work through a better solution.

Noticeably, you may not have success getting the employees to come to your wellness program, but your chances skyrocket when you target your employees’ spouses and significant others (Badrfam et al, 2020). The pressure from the spouses can be a significant driver to engagement and without it, your program’s engagement will suffer.

#2. Uncertainty

That unnerving feeling of not knowing what the future holds or what measures to take to sustain organizational operations is a huge challenge. Uncertainty brought by COVID-19 pandemic can affect your employees mentally, not knowing what the future holds for them. This is a big obstacle and the HR teams prioritize putting everything in alignment. This makes health and wellness programs take a back seat, yet it should be on the forefront in bringing solutions to hospital work environment during this pandemic.

In order to tackle uncertainty, and help your staff move forward in the right personal development program for them – and avoid stalling in their personal lives, Satori spends approximately 4 weeks in our on-boarding process, ensuring all stakeholders get the right message. We give your managers the roadmap, and your staff will have an extensive understanding of what our program can do for them. All this uncertainty can be put to rest because we are engaging in a partnership with your workplace. This partnership can also help your current hospital initiatives move forward in the future – when the ProMind Experience is completed. 

#3. Lack of administrative commitment

Health and wellness programs profoundly depend on administrative support. Support is necessary for the maintenance, participation, and motivation in implementing the program in the hospital. But that commitment, towards creating such opportunities, goes a long way in ensuring that the fruits of the program are achieved in the institution. In reality, that partnership has a direct impact on the productivity levels of your staff (McCleary et al, 2017).

Of course, this is the same administration staff that’s concerned with COVID-19 – as they should be. So rest assured, Satori has a plan that enables us to take over for a short period of time. With The ProMind Experience being a 6-Module online program, delivered in conjunction with our staff support and group coaching, we help offset the stress that’s occurring within the system. Our program is also an experiential program that is delivered in such a way to really engage staff beyond what most programs do. By applying 8 psychological triggers, we’re giving your admin staff an added bonus so that participation and motivation doesn’t become the sole responsibility of the administrator. We’re partners!

#4. Inadequate resources for implementing health and wellness programs

Insufficient funds, improper resource allocation, short-ranged mentality, and lack of interest among others undermines the effectiveness of a health and wellness program. This inadequacy in terms of resources is a huge barrier to the effective implementation of wellness programs in hospital workplaces (Whyte, 2020). And as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to go up, there is a feeling that much effort and resources are diverted to fighting the pandemic at the expense of implementing health and wellness programs in the hospitals. This barrier includes resources such as equipment, personnel, and financial dealings etc, which are critical barriers while implementing health and wellness programs.

#5. Failure to engage high-risk employees

If 10 % of your employee base is consuming 80% of healthcare costs, then you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you who your primary focus should be when developing a wellness program. Paying attention to this high-risk segment will produce significant returns. In order to reach these high-risk individuals, you may need to survey them to understand what types of activities interest them (Whyte, 2020). And they’ll likely be happy to give you their opinion!

Many of these high-risk employees know that they need to do something about their health. In reality, they are never going to be gym rats, and may have no desire to become triathletes. But they’re lacking reward and incentives.  See my podcast on the 5 Rewards To Motivate here. In the end, if you and your hospital managers incentivize these employees, you will have a better chance at having a healthy workforce with peak performance attitudes rearing to go (Vu et al, 2016).

And guess what? Your hospital’s productivity will be at an all-time high, making your occupational health department much happier.

Where Do We Go Next?

Employees follow your lead. As for the health managers, implementing a health and wellness program will surely reap huge benefits. We often see in-services and occupational health departments coming-up with creative ways to give their staff additional tools. That’s a fantastic start. We can extend those efforts. We acknowledge that running effective workplace health programs are certainly not without challenges. They are significant undertakings. They do demand your attention. But this can be done in a fun way. Nonetheless, you can’t go at it alone.

In fact, individuals that connect with our community of health practitioners achieve breakthroughs that can lead them to utilizing your services even further. This is a win-win situation. All in all, workplaces have challenges and barriers to effective implementation of health and wellness programs – especially in hospitals. Everyone’s competing for everyone’s attention. Now that you know this, you can make different decisions for the wellbeing of yourself and your staff by joining-in on a Product Demo of The ProMind Experience right here. 

There, you’ll be taken to our website where you can choose a time directly into the director’s calendar.


Badrfam, R., Zandifar, A., & Arbabi, M. (2020). Mental Health of Medical Workers in COVID-19 Pandemic: Restrictions and Barriers. Journal of Research in Health Sciences20(2).

Whyte, C. (2020). The components of an effective employee health and wellness programme in healthcare workers. Southern African Journal of Public Health (incorporating Strengthening Health Systems)4(1), 27-29.

McCleary, K., Goetzel, R. Z., Roemer, E. C., Berko, J., Kent, K., & De La Torre, H. (2017). Employer and employee opinions about workplace health promotion (wellness) programs: results of the 2015 Harris Poll Nielsen Survey. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine59(3), 256-263.

Vu, M., White, A., Kelley, V. P., Hopper, J. K., & Liu, C. (2016). Hospital and health plan partnerships: the Affordable Care Act’s impact on promoting health and wellnesss. American health & drug benefits9(5), 269.

External links

You Might Also Like...

No Comments

    Leave a Reply