Starting a Wellness Program
Before You Start a Wellness Program
The key thing to remember is that participation in your Wellness Program must be voluntary. Not all of your employees or coworkers are going to participate. Have your employees fill out the Employee Wellness Program Interest Survey to see how interested they are.
Once you tabulate the likely success of the wellness program, you will be able to determine whether or not a sufficient number of employees will participate to make the wellness program worthwhile.
Setting Up a Wellness Program
When starting a wellness program, you will need to select a wellness coordinator to be responsible for coordinating the effort. This person might be you, or a person who scored highly on the questionnaire. This person should be committed to a healthy lifestyle regardless of the wellness program, and be interested in speaking to others about it.
Next, determine the goals of your Wellness Program. They could include any number of the following:
- Improve general health and well-being
- Improve morale & attitude
- Improve the sense of being a team
- Improve productivity
- Reduce turnover rate
- Decrease absenteeism
- Decrease injuries
Then, depending on the size of your organization, select a Wellness Committee. This will allow tasks to be spread out, requiring less time from each person. Wellness Committee members will manage responsibilities, such as taking turns ensuring that healthy snacks are available, booking outside health care practitioners, or organizing events. They should plan to meet monthly to coordinate their efforts, and be made aware of the goals of the plan.
Consult the employees about what elements of the welness program they would use. Some options include:
- Fitness Program
- Onsite Healthcare or Onsite Employee Health Screening
- Healthy Snacking Program
- First Aid Courses
- Health and Wellness Resources
In addition, some other ideas that go hand in hand with Workplace Wellness are:
- “Green” office suppliers
- Office Recycling
- Safety in the Workplace
- Stop Smoking Programs
- Stress Management
Through discussions with management and staff, you can determine what mix of elements is right for your organization.
Managing the Wellness Program
Specific goals for your Wellness Program should be defined, such as improving morale or reducing the turnover rate. Monitor the program regularly to see if it is meeting the goals, or if it needs to be revised.
There will be early adopters and those who are resistant. Understand that it is a voluntary program that will have to be “marketed” to your employees. The more fun it is, the more likely people will participate.
Take into account the age and cultural backgrounds of your employees when choosing the elements of your Workplace Wellness Program. Make it flexible so that people can participate on their schedule, or choose components that work for them.
Be sure to reward the employees who are on the committee that oversees the implementation.