What You Should Know Before Starting an Employee Wellness Program?

employee wellness program steps

What You Should Know Before Starting an Employee Wellness Program?

An effective employee wellness program helps in building a happy, healthy, and productive workforce. All these 3 factors are essential for business growth and overall workplace wellbeing. 

However, it takes a lot of effort and planning to build a robust employee wellness program.

Here are a few pointers and steps that must be kept in mind while designing a wellness program at work.

Gain all the Support from the Management

It is simple! A wellness program at work cannot be on track for long without the support of the management. Every workplace program needs an investment of finances, time, and human efforts. And so, having steady support from the management is a must. To have the company leadership buy into the wellness program, a few areas must be stressed – 

  • Employer Benefits – Communicate about the benefits for the company, like reduced healthcare costs, higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and higher competitive edge in the market.
  • Employee Benefits – Communicate the benefits for the workforce, like reduced stress rates, healthy lifestyle, better engagement, stronger teams, and higher morale.
  • Business and Wellness Goals – Identify the company goals that are in line with employee health and wellness goals. Point out all the objectives that are important for the company, like employee retention, etc., to plan the modules accordingly.

Conduct Pulse Surveys to Assess Health and Wellness Needs

Employee engagement is the key to the success of all top corporate wellness programs. To ensure enough engagement in the wellbeing program, it is crucial to include modules that are relevant to the health and wellness needs of the workforce. For example, incorporating a smoking cessation program for a group of non-smokers is not going to help anyone and will be a waste of resources. So, understanding employee lifestyle and wellbeing requirements are vital to planning the right modules. Conducting frequent employee pulse surveys can help in identifying the specific health and wellbeing requirements of the workforce, their limitations, and their feedback to build the best-suited preferred employee wellness solutions.

Form a Wellness Committee

Once the employee wellbeing requirements are identified, a wellness committee must be appointed. The committee must consist of members who can help in planning, executing, and promoting the wellness program within the organization. The committee must comprise employees from all the different corporate levels and the general population.

Set a Budget for the Wellbeing Program

It is important to decide how much budget the company can allocate towards the employee wellness program. Only when the budget is fixed, the modules that suit the needs can be decided. Some aspects to be considered while setting the budget include – 

Designing and Executing the Corporate Wellness Program

After finalizing the budget and identifying the employee wellbeing needs, the wellness committee can put across a few ideas for a fitting employee wellness program. The most common modules include – 

  • Disease management programs
  • Preventative care programs
  • Healthy habits programs
  • Behavior change programs
  • Team wellness challenges
  • Personal wellness challenges
  • Educational resources

By combining the employee survey outcomes and discussions with the wellness committee members, a well-planned comprehensive corporate wellness program with the right employee engagement strategies can be designed and executed.

Choose a Suitable Wellness Program Vendor

Although many organizations think it saves money to carry the workplace program in-house than partnering with a vendor, it can actually be more beneficial to have a vendor handle it all. An effective wellness program includes many daunting processes that need experts to overlook each of them. Working directly with the wellness program vendor can help in building a benefits program that fits the budget and also includes the needed modules. Research well and collect all the information about potential top corporate wellness companies. Ask them questions and compare their answers to finalize the best-suited one.

Choose the Right Workplace Wellness Software

Employee wellbeing programs come with many tasks – taking assessments, logging daily activity and nutrition data, tracking progress, and more. All of these cannot be maintained on paper. And so, to make it easy for employees to engage and track their health behaviors, the program must be delivered through a wellness platform or mobile app offering tools and features supported by advanced workplace wellness software and technology. The most common wellness tech tools include –

  • Dynamic wellness platform that can be customized
  • Engaging corporate wellness app similar to the web wellness portal
  • Device and app integration
  • Other Gamification approaches

Rewards and Incentives

As mentioned earlier, employee engagement is the key to the success of any workplace program. Offering rewards and incentives is a great way of engaging employees in a fun way. The rewards pillar strategy must have been built with a well-thought approach to ensure it urges the workforce to take the right steps towards adopting healthy habits. Depending on the company budget and employee interests, rewards and incentives can include – 

  • Cash rewards
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Merchandise offers
  • HAS/FSA contributions
  • Reimbursements

Roll Out the Employee Wellness Solutions

After the entire setup and implementation are complete, it is time to roll out the program to the workforce. Communicate ahead of time about the wellness program, benefits, incentives, and everything about it. Keep sending regular reminders to make sure they are all aware and well-prepared. Seek employee feedback regularly to brainstorm new ideas and re-evaluate the modules as per employee needs and interests.

It takes time to design, build, and run a successful employee wellness program. Positive ROI can be seen in the long run only so, setting long-term goals and encouraging the workforce to stay consistent through the entire employee wellness program is essential for its success.