Wellness Programs and EAPs

Brian Tracy, a well-known business motivational authority and speaker, once said that a manager who uses destructive criticism on an employee gets about the same result as taking a sledgehammer to a piece of office furniture.

Whatever our feelings about so-called authorities, we shouldn’t hold that against them when they do say something useful. Workplace positivity is a lofty goal, and it’s often given lip service by management. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Many of us misstate that old saying as “the proof is in the pudding,” which means nothing. And a company’s pronouncement that they value their employees means nothing if they don’t back it up.

How can your company promote a positive workforce attitude and demonstrate that it values its people?

First, it can support a management culture that builds self-esteem, not tears it down as destructive criticism does. By belittling, embarrassing or stressing-out a subordinate for a job not well done, that manager has attacked the employee’s self-confidence, which decreases their ability (and desire) to do the job well next time. Whereas, if that manager were to better define the job expectations in a positive way — that doesn’t demean — that employee will likely want to improve. Another Brian Tracyism is “Golden Rule No. 1 of Management: Manage others the way you would like to be managed.”

The second approach to showing that you value your people is to have a good wellness program and an Employee Assistance Program in place. A wellness program demonstrates that your organization cares about its employees’ physical health and wellbeing. Providing access to an EAP shows concern for employees’ behavioral health and a willingness to support them with confidential, no-cost work/life assistance when they need it. As a bonus, the other win of this win-win situation is that these programs benefit the company. Without descending into complicated ROI equations, it is generally accepted that a healthier, less-stressed workforce saves on health care costs and increases productivity. It just makes sense.

To sum up, showing that your company values its people promotes workforce positivity. This inherently decreases costs by increasing productivity. What’s not to like? Since we’re quoting business motivational authorities, let me leave you with one from the granddaddy of them all, Zig Ziglar: “You don’t build a business — you build people — and then people build the business.” Zig also said, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile,” whatever that means.


Tracy, Brian; The Psychology of Achievement; 1984.
Ziglar, Zig; Great Quotes From Zig Ziglar; 1997.