Employers can use a wide variety of ways to encourage healthy habits in the workplace and thus reduce absenteeism and lost productivity, enhance recruitment and retention and realize cost savings on insurance and workers’ compensation premiums.
starting an employee wellness program takes just a few steps
STEP 1 Develop an advisory committee that represents the interests of employees, management and labor unions (if applicable).
Engage all levels of leadership. Passionate and visible commitment to the program at all levels is essential.
Click here to download a step-by-step guide for wellness committees.
STEP 2 Conduct a needs and resources assessment.
Determine employee needs, interests, concerns and schedules.
Identify available space and facilities, including local community facilities.
Identify relevant partner organizations. Active, ongoing collaboration with internal and external partners, including vendors, can provide a program with some of its essential components as well as valuable enhancements.
Click here to download an evaluation guide for your business.
STEP 3 Develop program components and activities based on the findings of the needs assessment.
Develop a written document of program components and expected outcomes.
Develop formal policies for administering the program.
Develop an evaluation plan for the program. (Specify how its impact will be measured. Elements to evaluate include cost, participation rate, employee satisfaction, employee behavior changes and the impact on participant education.)
STEP 4 Include incentives to encourage employee participation.
Examples include employee time off or items such as pedometers and water bottles.
STEP 5 Spread the word to encourage participation.
Notify employees of the program through flyers, e-mails, payroll stuffers and posters.
Click here to download flyers and posters for your workplace.
STEP 6 Implement the program.
STEP 7 Evaluate the program. Your evaluation and analysis allow you to:
Collect information about the participants to tailor the program to fit their needs.
Demonstrate the effectiveness of the program.
Show employee satisfaction with the program.
Build a case for funding and support.
Identify areas that need improvement.
Many additional resources are available to help companies create an effective employee health and welfare program: