Workplace wellness programs can be incredibly effective and beneficial for organizations and their employees alike. However, that said, implementing a health and wellness program requires precious time and resources—which is exactly why you need a solid strategy andthe right tools in place to make your wellness program work for you.
Trying to figure out how to get started? Here are five steps to creating a successful workplace wellness program at your organization:
1. Start out with a company wellness assessment.
Before you kick-start your new wellness program, perform a company wellness assessment to evaluate your organization's current health and well-being initiatives (or lack thereof) and gain insight on how to improve key factors such as communication, leadership buy-in, and culture. Starting out with a wellness assessment will help you identify what value your company as a whole places on wellness and how that is represented within the company.
From there, you can discover opportunities to improve and support wellness efforts. For example, if you would like to encourage a healthier diet, you might also decide to reduce unhealthy food in your company cafeteria, meetings, and vending machines to help set your employees up for success.
2. Use health screenings to aggregate data.
With a better understanding of your company’s culture around health and wellness, you can now utilize health screenings to aggregate data. If you understand the overall health of your specific population, you can create a personalized, customized program for your population's unique needs.
Aggregate data can help pinpoint potential health risks, future costs, and population needs. Then, you can use your findings to develop and launch a more targeted wellness strategy that prioritizes the most critical risk factors. For example, if your company’s aggregate data shows a significant portion of your population is obese, you’ll want to implement wellness initiatives focused on weight loss and fitness to prevent diabetes and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
3. Involve all the right company stakeholders.
To roll out a successful wellness initiative, you need to involve all the right company stakeholders to make sure everyone is on board. Your company’s executives, department managers, and team leads should all be involved and aware of the wellness program to encourage employee participation.
Your leadership can truly lead by example by not only participating in but also really championing and advocating for the program. Executive endorsement is the fastest way to spread the word and encourage employees to participate in your workplace wellness program. It’s important to highlight testimonials and success stories about the value leadership sees in the program or where they have made improvements.
4. Incentivize healthy habits to motivate employees.
The best, most effective workplace wellness programs are designed to motivate employees and reward them for completing certain health and wellness activities. For example, incentivized activities might include health risk assessments, smoking cessation programs, weight loss challenges, and more.
Wellness incentives typically range from cash and reduced insurance premiums to T-shirts, hats, and other company swag. Remember, the stronger your incentive, the higher your participation will be. It's important to have high participation because the more people who participate, the more of an impact the program will have on healthcare costs and company culture.
5. Consider partnering with a wellness vendor.
When you’re ready to design your wellness program, consider partnering with a vendor who has the expertise and resources to do the heavy lifting. Partnering with a health and wellness vendor like TargetCare helps take the burden off of your HR department and ensures a smooth, successful start for your program.
Having a wellness vendor to help support your initiative and track your progress will enable you to implement a corporate health and wellness program that checks every box. This way, you won’t waste valuable resources trying to build out and implement a workplace wellness program that doesn’t meet your needs, engage your employees, or benefit your business.
By following best practices, you can make your workplace wellness program more effective, benefitting both your employees and company as a whole.
In the end, a workplace wellness program will pay for itself not only by helping to lower healthcare costs and increase productivity, but also by resulting in a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce empowered by a culture of wellness. With the right strategy in place—and the right wellness vendor to help you bring said strategy to life—you can launch and implement a program that works for your entire organization.