You have decided to implement a workplace well-being and wellness program — congratulations! This is a great first step. Program development, which comes next, can seem daunting. Fortunately, there is a straightforward formula to follow when developing a program. With the right steps and planning, you will turn everyone from the boardroom to the support staff into actively engaged employees.
There are four components to setting up a workplace wellness program:
Develop health-related policies
- Set clear principles. The best programs will have clear principles that identify priorities, guide program design and direct resource allocation.
- Do your research. Designing a program requires an evaluation of what currently exists and what policies can affect your own program. The program needs to reflect a comprehensive view of health that not only addresses physical needs but also behavioral, mental and overall well-being.
- reate a tailored program. Workplaces vary according to so many different factors such as size, location and resources. The employees themselves differ based on age, physical and mental abilities, education and health practices. Successful well-being programs will acknowledge this diversity and take it into account in their designs. One program will not be right for all people in an organization, but the right program will be flexible enough to meet everyone’s needs.
- Start small and build. Set targets that are easily achievable to get the program going. Use and evaluate your initial efforts before going bigger. Too much change at once can be overwhelming.
- Be consistent. To encourage employee buy-in of the program, you need to ensure that you have created a work environment that is truly health-focused. If you have started a tobacco cessation program for your employees, then it’s important to ensure that there are designated non-smoking areas outside of the workplace to remind people that you support cessation efforts. Taking other steps to ensure that you’re promoting a healthy office environment can go a long way in demonstrating your dedication to the program.
Create a work environment that supports good health
- Develop a health-focused culture. Programs in organizations with policies founded on trust will thrive. A healthy company culture is built by integrating a total health model into all aspects of the business. This means a focus on health in the career, emotional, financial, physical and social well-being realms.
- Show leadership participation. Making a commitment with words is important, but demonstrating it with actions is crucial to the success of your program. By encouraging leaders to acknowledge and communicate this dedication to the health and well-being program widely, the workforce will take notice and also incorporate it into their own approach to work.
- Use the right tools. Taking a technology-first approach to your program will ensure you have effective software to measure participation and long-term effects. So many of your employees are already interacting with their mobile devices and computers every day, so why not make it easy for them to engage with the wellness program on these devices?
- Total Well Being Strive is our online wellness portal for employees to track nutrition, fitness and well-being activities, challenges and personal goals. Individual and team challenges encourage friendly competition and team building while supporting positive habits and sustainable lifestyle choices.
Encourage active participation.
- Identify champions. Find staff who are trained and motivated. These can be champions of the program who will encourage others to participate.
- Communicate strategically. Make sure that everyone who is participating knows what they’re doing and why. Provide periodic updates to the leadership and the workforce and create data-driven reports to gauge the program’s success.
- Build accountability. By having accountable leaders, the effect will cascade to the lower levels of the organization. Reward success.
- Evaluate. Critical evaluation of the program is necessary to ensure its success. Develop an evaluation plan before you kick off the program so that you can collect data at different times.
Ask for help. Launching a well-being program is a big task. Some programs will succeed while others will fail. Partnering with an organization that specializes in developing and implementing well-being programs will give your organization the best chance at success.
At Total Well Being, we work one-on-one with corporate teams to develop, plan and implement customized effective well-being programs that are widely adopted by your staff and provide actionable results. Our customized programs help you to create powerful, data-driven, patient-centered solutions to catalyze healthcare transformation in your workplace that are tailored to your culture, while reducing healthcare costs and improving worker health.