“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.