4 squares of a successful wellness program
Today most organizations have a keen interest in doing more to promote corporate health and wellness. After all, the healthier your staff, the more likely your organization will see improvements in health outcomes and ultimately new levels of productivity and success.
So why do so many companies struggle to make a healthy workplace a reality? The reasons and challenges are as varied as the organizations that attempt to solve the wellness puzzle. Last week we offered a free webinar, “The Four Squares of a Well-Balanced Wellness Program,” to offer some straightforward advice. As a senior product manager at Ceridian LifeWorks, I took to the virtual airwaves to discuss how organizations can revamp their wellness strategies and improve the situation for everyone.
The webinar centered around four main points – I referred to them as “the four squares of wellness.” Let’s recap each of the four squares and their impact.
Establish a wellness culture
Every organization needs the solid foundation of a culture that supports wellness. Begin by understanding the current state. Do your employees or leaders really value health? Does their behavior match their words? If not, ensure leadership buy-in by starting from the top and passing the pro-wellness sentiment down. This might involve meetings, events like 5k fun runs or on-site options like healthier eating.
Devise short- and long-term goals
Next, begin to develop wellness goals for your organization, both for right now and the future. What are the primary health challenges for your organization? What initiatives can you focus on in the near term that will have an impact? If you don’t have a good sense of your population’s health risks, a good starting goal may be to have a certain percentage of employees complete a health risk assessment or biometric screening. This can guide your planning into the 3-5 year framework where your goals can touch on longer term behavior change and outcomes. Consider previous unsuccessful initiatives and find ways to do better this time. Define everyone’s roles and responsibilities to ensure success.
Build a comprehensive new program
Put together a detailed wellness program that will achieve the best results for everyone. Consider a combination of initiatives that fit your organization’s culture and goals. Many organizations with successful wellness programs choose to include:
- Health risk assessments
- Health coaching
- Outreach and engagement
- Wellness challenges
- Fitness trackers
- Integration with employee assistance programs
Achieving your wellness goals may require all of the above. Reaching out to a wellness provider or a benefits consultant can help you put together the winning combination.
Brand and promote the program
Even the most robust and well-planned wellness programs will shrivel on the vine if they’re not properly promoted. You could begin with a massive kickoff event to supercharge the program, but don’t stop there. Use a variety of vehicles including social media updates, newsletters and lots of in-person communication to continue reinforcing your message.
Ultimately, wellness programs are about maximizing value. While you can’t ignore ROI, you should also focus on value of investment (VOI). By using non-financial criteria such as employee engagement and productivity, you should be able to evaluate your program and calculate not only its VOI, but its ultimate impact on the bottom line of your company.
As Senior Product Manager for Ceridian LifeWorks, Jennifer manages the EAP, work-life and wellness portfolio. She ensures that LifeWorks services are meaningful to employees and of value to customers by collaborating with employers to address needs, and by identifying and monitoring industry trends. She holds a master’s degree in Education and Counseling Psychology from Boston University, as well as has 15+ years experience in the EAP and wellness industry.