What can be measured should be measured. Whether it’s profit margin, employee attendance, weight, blood pressure or your cholesterol - improvements mean progress, but in terms of what and ….says who? In terms of a business strategy, wellness and prevention programs should provide real information and evidence of its effectiveness. So in the world of wellness and disease prevention, where’s the real data?
Biometric screenings, Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), Apps that track lifestyle habits are some of the most common programs used by employers. Of course, these initiatives serve an important purpose for organizations taking steps toward a culture of wellness and providing actionable steps for employees to engage in. The drawback is that it’s so very hard, if not impossible, to determine the impact of the prevention and wellness programs. Honestly, all we can prove is how much financial investment was provided and who participated.
Return on Investment
It is almost crazy to attempt to measure ROI in wellness programming. How much does the cancer diagnosis that never happened spare the company? Or the emergency room visit for a heart attack that didn't occur or the diabetes that never developed? We need to start including additional programming that serves all staff members, those that can be measured. Chronic disease recovery coaching. With this type of offering, we can ask questions that provide measurable results with disease recovery programming. What are the lab changes? Is quality of life sustained or possible improving. Are tumor markers improving? Were there reductions in benefit utilization? For most wellness / prevention programs, the answer is a resounding “no”. However, for cancer recovery programs, we can actually show progress and identify what efforts are working. Ultimately, is the employee dealing with cancer able to work, able to return to work after treatment...or is their state of health declining and medical bills increasing? These are very apparent and measurable metrics to track.
Disease Recovery Based on Data
Outcomes-based programs are becoming very popular. Less missed work, improved emotional stability and decreased mortality rates are essentially making people more accountable for the state of their personal health. Evidence-based medicine (where doctors make decisions about care using mathematical estimates based on measured treatment of large population samples) informs decisions about health care treatment. Integrative approaches to disease is making great strides in this category.
Focus on Creating an Impact
Concentrate on High Risk, High Cost: The strategy isn’t based on population health. Specifically, employers should concentrate on cancer, it is on the rise and with 1 in 2.4 Americans projected to receive this diagnosis, it is sure to weigh heavily on the corporate platform. Cancer will be the top suspect for claims reported to insurance companies. This disease is scaling the workplace, medication prices are climbing, research is creating more expensive drugs and all of these drivers are likely to place the highest percentage of your workforce at risk for catastrophic health issues. And, to be the number one reason for death in this country.
Having a cancer coach on your team to support each employees progress is the dividing factor in demonstrating what works and what doesn't. When people do not know they have treatment options, one of two things happen. #1. They blindly follow along with the status quo, which is not improving cancer outcomes nor is it efficient for restoring health. #2. People become overwhelmed with so much information, they are unsure what is applicable and in fear, sit back to traditional practices (see #1).
It's true. Programs that are out of sight - are out of mind. Most wellness programs are either presented at certain times of the year or are are ongoing for those who take initiative to inquire. The impact is slight, if at all for these approaches. A longer term program, one that is repeatedly reminded to team members will be more sustainable as the reminder of choice and options for disease care can severely impact the ability to make an informed decision. Knowing there is support and guidance should a life threatening disease strike will make employees and their loved ones feel comforted and secure if they receive an unfavorable diagnosis.
Are you looking for a way to improve the state of health for those who have already been diagnosed with cancer? Email us for your options.
Compare your list of to-do's, with this list of to-do's.
How do they compare? Does yours account for LIVING LIFE?
-prepare for the morning the night before - don't rely on memory, write it down - practice preventative maintenance - make duplicate keys - say "no" more often - avoid negative people - use time wisely - simplify meal time - plan a weeks worth of meals - go for a bike ride - go for a walk by yourself - go for a walk with a friend - always make copies of important papers - anticipate your needs - treat yourself to a MASSAGE - put yourself FIRST - repair anything that doesn't work properly - ask for help - break large tasks into bite sized pieces - look at problems as challenges - look at challenges differently - unclutter - SMILE - be prepared for rain - don't know all the answers - offer to listen, instead of advice - look for the silver lining - say something nice to someone - give a compliment - teach the kids to fly kites - get ADJUSTED - walk in the rain - schedule play time everyday - use essential oils - be aware of decisions - BELIEVE in yourself - stop saying negative things to yourself - visualize yourself WINNING - enjoy a sense of humor - don't procrastinate - VISION - dance to your favorite song - say hello to strangers - give a HUG - ask for a HUG - look up at the stars - practice deep breathing, slowly - read a poem - write down your favorite motivating quote and post it in the bathroom - read personal development articles or books - do a brand new thing - ditch a bad habit - take stock of achievements, write them down - work at being optimistic - STRETCH - think of 3 things to be GRATEFUL for before getting out of bed - display flowers in the house - be responsible for your own feelings - take responsibility for YOU and your mistakes and keep going - EXERCISE - clean a closet - write a note to a friend or family member and mail it - FORGIVE someone - forgive YOURSELF for something - recognize the importance of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - keep a journal (or two) - remember you ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS - quit trying to "fix" other people - get enough SLEEP - LAUGH - go on a picnic with homemade healthy foods - talk less, LISTEN more - be thankful for everything you have at this very moment -
Take time each day to REST.
...you have the rest of your LIFE to LIVE. It's not about counting the moments, it's whether or not we make the moments count <3
At the root of every struggle, there is emotional energy.
This energy can either help you to heal or launch the cancer into an uncontrollable state. Your pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis position at work are two different positions.
Will they think I'm capable? Am I capable? What if I get too tired? Will everyone treat me differently? Will expectations change? No one will understand how I'm thinking - feeling - doing, so is it even worth it to talk to them? What will I eat at company celebrations that have food?
These are some of the many thought and emotional struggles working cancer patients face when they must maintain a working status. I can't count how many people I've talked with that have been struggling with the weight that their co-workers / boss / employer just doesn't understand what they are going through. The weight is burdensome and causes additional stress and pain. It's a needless struggle because there is a very simple remedy: company wide education about cancer and it's treatments!
By now, I'm sure you can name someone whom you've worked with or are currently working with that has a cancer diagnosis. I'm willing to bet there were times you wanted to say something, provide words of encouragement or a subtle gift, but just didn't know what to do. Had you been offered information or resources to help guide you - things would be so different. Same for the person dealing with the cancer. They know you are looking at them with an awkward stare and hoping just as hard as you that the weirdness fades away quickly. We can do better and learn how to work through this.
Understanding the cancer struggle and the various treatment options that our employees or co-workers are experiencing can make all the different in the world. By removing judgement and assumption, we will be able to see how we can be of assistance. There is power in knowledge.
More now than ever, people are seeking natural treatment to reverse and heal from their disease and those who take this path less traveled need our support. They are not meant to go this struggle alone - but we all need preparation to expand our capabilities of understanding this change in health care.
"We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking used when we created them.: - Albert Einstein
This is exactly what I'm willing to offer - the NEW way of thinking. The tipping point of traditional healthcare spilled over a few years ago and we need the information about what our fellow workers are dealing with so that we can help them through this "struggle" part of their journey.
Whether or not you agree with someone's choice of treatment, it is your duty as a kind, warm-blooded human to provide support.
It's time for all companies, big and small, to share OPTIONS for cancer treatment so that everyone is able to contribute to lifting the weight of the struggle while working with a cancer diagnosis.
When it comes to employee well-being programs, is there a difference between holistic and wholistic approaches?
Depends on how you are looking at it and what your company culture embraces. Technically speaking, although most people will use these two terms interchangeably, there IS a difference. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has even recognized it as such noting that the "w" brings the meaning full circle. Let's explore:
By definition, “wholistic” programs offer a fully integrated, wide scope of services meant to positively impact the whole human being— such as physical mental, social spiritual, and financial. Viewing the universe in terms of "wholes"—that is, organisms and systems instead of molecules and atoms. The same thoughts can be applied to programs associated to human health. We have the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.
A wholistic program looks to focus on the root of the stressor or cause of imbalance and offers programs to help your staff address those areas for improved self-care. Wholistic programs are capable of servicing ALL employees in their choice of health care. Should an employee with cancer choose natural cancer care, the employer will provide access to a cancer coach or recovery specialist, not just traditional (conventional) cancer care. This is an old, outdated, one-size-fits-all approach and according to the times, people are demanding (safer) improved health care options.
“Holistic” worksite programs, while also affecting spirit, mind and body connection also include alternative eastern philosophies and healing systems such as homeopathy and naturopathic or natural, non-toxic therapy methods.
To sum it all up, it just a play on words and making the decision on how you want to refer to your programs. If we are improving health, we are improving workplace culture.
Regardless of how you decide to coin your company's wellness program, the goal you should be aiming for is to recognize the importance of health and wellbeing as an important driver of employee satisfaction and overall business performance.
If CANCER COACHING is not part of your offerings to your employees, what are you waiting for?
The first step you take, the first decision you make, the first moment you wake after a cancer diagnosis is the most important.
Making all of the right moves can be terrifying, confusing, and overwhelming. Theta Living is always here to bring your options for cancer care.
These options are not conventional, nor will you hear about them on the news, radio, and more than likely your traditional doctor won't provide you this information.
Should this resonate with you and you'd like to learn more, we are here for you!