Written by Toni Sperlbaum
“Wellness” is defined in many ways, and when an organization is faced with implementing a new wellness program, the sky really is the limit. But there are many things that need to be considered when making your program the most budget-friendly and effective it can be.
Year one should be an assessment year:
Measure the current health of your employees through biometric screenings and Health Risk Assessments.
What are employees not only needing as far as education and encouragement, but what are they actually interested in learning about?
Is your facility set up to provide structural and cultural support for a wellness program?
Do your policies truly support the wellbeing of your employees? (Flextime, healthy meeting options, nicotine free campuses, and more).
What are your goals for the program?
Goals – that is where the planning comes in. After year one measurements, come up with a strategic plan that is at least 3 years in length. Design this plan with the following in mind:
Develop a mission of the program with a mission statement.
Connect the dots on all of your plans for the year. For example: focus on Nutrition in year 1 with all of your programs/education. This will create a focus for employees instead of being overwhelmed with exercise, nutrition, smoking cessation, mental health, sleep, work-life balance, and everything all at the same time.
Each program you deliver must lead back to your mission. “Does what we are trying to do here directly support the mission?” If not, don’t do it.
Is our program simple to understand? Is it achievable?
Too many wellness programs, while very well-intended, implement activities that do not make sense together in the grand scheme of things. Creating a 3 year calendar of events and strategic plan will help your planning team know what’s coming, be able to budget effectively, and make the biggest impact on your population.