Step-by-Step: Creating a Workplace Wellness Program
Workplace Wellness is on the rise. Companies have learned that investing in their employee’s health has a multitude of benefits with a very large return on investment. However, for most companies, the budget for such a program is tight. Implementing Workplace Wellness does not necessarily mean adding a gym or hiring full time health professionals – below is a step-by-step guide on how to implement workplace wellness initiatives in a cost efficient way.
Step 1: Needs/Risk Assessment
The first step in creating a workplace wellness program is to identify the health risk factors that will drive up health care costs down the road. These risk factors include tobacco use, sedentary lifestyles, obesity, high stress, and environmental risks. This can be done through a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) provided by your insurance company or a vendor that are sometimes free or at a very low cost. It is also important to learn what the employees want in a wellness program which can be done through a simple survey. Catering to your company’s specific needs and wants will ensure program success.
Step 2: Program Design
The design of a workplace wellness program should be specific to a company’s culture and the results of the HRA. If the employees are competitive, create a fitness competition. If they are outdoorsy, organize a hiking trip. If nutrition seems to be an area of interest, have a Nutrition Lunch & Learn or a Healthy Cooking Class. Here are a few other wellness ideas to consider for your company:
- Offer a Yoga Class during Lunch Break.
- Organize a company Softball Team to join a local league.
- Educate on various health topics through Lunch & Learns.
- Wellness Checklist – reward employees for engaging in healthy behaviors.
- Organize a company trip – hiking, skiing, etc.
- Fitness Challenge – try ASW’s 8-Week Challenge!
- Pedometer Challenge – Reward employees for reaching 10,000 steps/day.
- Set up a walking club before or after work hours.
- Educate employees through weekly health tips emails.
The workplace environment can be a contributing factor as well to employee wellness. Here are some changes to consider in helping make your work environment healthier:
- Replace candy bowls with fresh fruit bowls.
- Provide healthy foods verses junk foods during meetings.
- Put up signs encouraging employees to use the stairs.
- Put in a walking path around your building.
- Provide healthy snacks and drink options in break room (remove all soda!!).
- Provide the option for stand up desks.
- Make hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes available in all common areas.
Step 3: Implementation
The next step is going to be promoting the wellness program and implementing it. Having support from Senior Leaderships is key – perhaps an email from the CEO to the employees to kick it off. Then, promotion should be done in a way that is specific to the company’s culture. – spread the word through emails, posters, videos, flyers, social media, and etc. Make it fun, positive, and engaging!
Offering incentives will also help drive motivation. Here are some ideas: cash, gift cards, casual dress day, recognition in company correspondence (newsletter, etc.), merchandise (company mugs, t-shirts, etc.), bring in a massage therapist for chair massages, tickets to a sporting event or concert, catered lunch, gym membership re-imbursment, or even paid time off.
Step 4: Evaluation
There are many variables that should be considered when measuring the success of a wellness program. Measurements of absenteeism rates, productivity, program participation, healthcare costs, and changes in biometrics should all be tracked each year. Surveys on company morale and program feedback will also be vital in shaping future wellness programs.
Workplace wellness can be done no matter the budget. Small changes in a company’s culture and environment will add up over time resulting in savings as well as a healthier, happier, and stronger workforce!
A Stronger Workplace, LLC is a vendor for worksite wellness needs serving companies of all sizes in the Atlanta area. Services include: Health Risk Assessments, Biometric Screenings, Lunch & Learns, Office Challenges, Onsite Fitness Classes, and Personalized Training Programs. Learn more at www.astrongerworkplace.com or contact Megan@astrongerworkplace.com.