You just found out you are in charge of all workplace wellness initiatives and ran straight to Google scared, overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.You begin a few searches for "weight loss challenges," "how to start a wellness program," "biometric screenings" and "employee engagement." Once you've bookmarked a few web pages and jotted down some notes you feel more lost than before you started.
Here are 5 ways to start planning a wellness program the right way, if you don't currently have anything in place.
1. Know Your Goals
Sit down with your C-suite and make sure everyone is on the same page before you begin adding events to the calendar. There are many angles organizations can come from when approaching employee wellness. Knowing your goals will make sure you stay focused and don't stray from your mission.
The most common goals we have seen, as well as any combination, of include:
- Reducing health care costs
- Increasing team morale
- Creating a culture of health in the organization
- Improving employee health
2. Start a Wellness Committee
Include your team in the decision making and the communication of the program. Input from different departments and levels of your workforce will help to keep your initiatives well-rounded and applicable to all team members. Keep in mind to have one or two members of your committee who are not inclined to participate to have all groups represented. Then, use them! Delegate and get help with completing the tasks that come out of the meetings.
3. Do Everything On Purpose
When making big changes, remember to tie everything back to your goals. If your biggest pain point is high health care costs, make sure you have the data to mark a solid baseline metric to compare next year's data. Once you have that data, you can program based on it! It is easy to get side-tracked when employees come to you with ideas they are excited about. Just remember if you don't hit your goals at the end of the year, it will be harder to get your executive team on board to continue.
4. Use What You Already Have
You likely have health plan or EAP resources available to you, the key is understanding and utilizing them! Some health plans are even offering grants for wellness related services. If you don't ask, you know you won't receive any! Talk with your wellness vendors and find out what they offer and how you can leverage it in your program.
5. DON'T "Fake it Till You Make it"
You likely don't have a background in public health, but this new position has landed on your desk as if you do. Leverage some help from those who have education and industry experience to support you! One of the biggest bonuses is that they have made the newbie mistakes that you can be guided to avoid. Don't be afraid you have to know and do it all. It is very reasonable for you to contract a consulting group to set a 3-year strategic plan for you to follow and help you implement it! If your budget isn't there yet, consider joining a local worksite wellness support group, or do some research to learn the industry best practices.
In other words, improving employee health is a business strategy. Use your team and understand your goals, keep it on track, use the tools you have, and look to the pros for help. You don't need to feel intimidated by your new role but it is important to understand the amazing impact it can have if implemented properly.
As always, if you have any questions, or would like additional info shoot me a message! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in joining a FREE wellness networking group in a setting designed to alleviate judgment and solicitation, you have found the right place! The Worksite Wellness Network is comprised of local employers who aim to learn and share the latest how-to’s on worksite wellness programming.