Rants by actual employees subjected to wellness programs are pretty easy to come by. In that respect, the Change.org petition against the Goetzel-Penn State program is basically the Greatest Hits compilation.
Here is one of our newest favorites, that just came in over the transom last week, reprinted word-for-word with identifiers removed and a little punctuation added–and, as you can see a few lines down, a soupcon of bowdlerization.
Since we now know wellness has no ROI, perhaps this is what the Wellness Ignorati mean by “value on investment” — if employees quit as a result of wellness programs, you can save the severance pay from firing them.
My husband and I have had the joy of recently completing our wellness assessments. Here is my rant.
First, it’s a giant pain in the [gluteus maximus]. Second, the questionnaire could not have been more ridiculous and third, my doctor didn’t really do anything with it. She just gets to bill an unnecessary office visit [to my employer] in order to sign a form.
On the first topic, the questionnaire took 45 min for each of us, plus the inconvenience of having to schedule and go to an appointment we didn’t need. And in my case, having just gone through 9 months of prenatal care, labor and delivery care and postpartum care on top of all the newborn appointments, the last thing I needed was another doctor’s appointment.
On the second point, the questions they asked were terrible for assessing my actual health. There was an obvious right answer in every case, and it seemed to want to judge my mental health/level of happiness more than actual health. “Think of yourself on a ladder in terms of xxx (happiness, social status, personal accomplishments). What rung on the ladder would you place yourself, 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest?” How does that assess my health? It’s a personal fulfillment questionnaire that also asks if you exercise. At the end they ask for all these lab values which I don’t have and my doctor didn’t think she was supposed to request so they aren’t filled out at all.
And on the last point, my doctor never looked at the 30 page final assessment that I had to print and she just asked me if I think I’m healthy and I said yes. She was fine with that. The only thing she told me was that I could lose a few pounds to get my BMI in the right place – well OF COURSE! I just had a baby, which on a side note is not a part of the wellness assessment at all. There are all these questions about how much sleep I’m getting, am I stressed, etc… but no accounting for the natural things that happen in life like a newborn.