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A qualitative investigation of wellness program implementation strategies




Cave, Kelly A., author
Fisher, Gwenith G., advisor
Harman, Jennifer J., committee member
Kraiger, Kurt, committee member
Rosecrance, John C., committee member

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The prevalence of occupational stress has been on the rise for decades. Now, with the emergence of COVID-19, employees face even more challenges that can lead to increased levels of occupational stress. To buffer against the negative health outcomes and costs associated with occupational stress, organizations often implement wellness programs. However, the way in which wellness programs are implemented can have significant effects on their success. Although various implementation models have been proposed, researchers have little understanding as to the extent to which practitioners implementing wellness programs use the prescribed steps and sequences provided. Additionally, with the nature of work rapidly evolving due to COVID-19, it is important for researchers to understand how the pandemic impacts program implementation. Thus, the current study explores: (1) the extent to which the steps and sequences characterized by both an occupational health model and an organizational change model are used by practitioners implementing wellness programs in the workplace; and (2) how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted wellness program implementation. Results suggest both models describe valuable steps practitioners use when implementing wellness programs, these processes are not linear, and COVID-19 affected wellness implementation by forcing wellness to the forefront of organizations, encouraging a greater emphasis be placed on a wider definition of wellness, and by introducing volatility in the workplace and in wellness programming.


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