Corporate Wellness Programs

The Surprisingly Simple Guide to Successful Wellness Programs

You can improve your existing wellness program or craft the most successful wellness program for your business by evaluating and emphasizing these main areas.

1. The Culture

The worst thing you could do for your business and employees is to plan your wellness program willy-nilly with no consideration for the company culture. No wellness program is one-size-fits-all, think of it instead as a custom-tailored suit. Something that is made to stand the test of time, accentuate all the right areas, and make you (and your employees) feel like a million bucks.

Your culture is what is unique about your company and should inform how you approach and design your wellness program. With a good understanding of your company culture and how your wellness program can fit or improve it, you will be set up for success.

Look both to your company values and your employee population. Does your company value community service? Look for ways to tie your wellness program in for seamless employee experience. Do your employees have a lot of pets? Maybe one of your initiatives can include pet health and wellness.

Read More: Company Culture – Getting Started

2. The People

A successful wellness program won’t be a success without the right people on your side. Make wellness a priority by assigning dedicated team members to the program, or to specific initiatives. Letting employees take ownership of their own piece of your wellness program lets them flex their leadership wings even if they aren’t in a leadership role.

Don’t forget to think about the other people affected by your wellness initiatives – your employees’ families and friends. Think about all the ways – big and small- you can include your extended work family.

3. The Goals

Once you’ve thought about your company culture and people, you should be ready to set some goals for your wellness program. Your goals can be financial, focused on participation or employee satisfaction. Set yourself up for return-on-investment success by using SMART goals.

  • Specific 

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time-Based

Your wellness goals don’t have to be all about reducing health care costs. It is important to customize your goals to what you are trying to chieve with your wellness program.

4. The Timeline

When it comes to any large project, a timeline is essential to keep on track and meet your goals. If planning an entire year at once sounds overwhelming, try quarterly or bi-annual wellness timelines. Breaking down your schedule may also help manage your wellness budget alongside the overall company budget.

Be sure to keep in mind your business’s specific workflows to avoid over-scheduling your employees during busy weeks or months. Your timeline should be based not only on the budget, but on your company’s vision for wellness and your employees’ availability.

Don’t forget to download our 2018 Wellness Calendar – perfect for your wellness team members and HR Heroes. There are seasonal holidays, tips, and challenges throughout to keep you inspired.

5. The Programs

You might be familiar with some tried and true wellness initiatives, but successful wellness programs focus on ways to keep it fresh. Wellness doesn’t work if interest fizzles out.

We highly recommend ending each year with a new Wellness Survey for your employees. You can use the information you gather to improve and freshen your programs, identify negative employee experiences, and find new superstars to join your wellness team.

After your survey, you may find that there are holes in your wellness strategy. Look to improve your approach to what we call the Wellness Pyramid. You should have a significant focus on the three core areas of wellness: physical, mental, and financial. Once you identify your employee population’s needs and interest in these areas, you can expand your strategy to budget, marketing, and support.

Read More: The Connection Between Financial and Physical Wellness

The final key to successful initiatives is illustrating the value to your employees. Think like a marketer and show them “What’s in it for me?” or WIIFM.

For example, a step challenge is a common initiative, but it also can struggle from a severe drop-off in participation as excitement wears off. Showing the many aspects of WIIFM can help improve participation and boost the efforts of your wellness regulars.

6. The Incentives

It will be a difficult, uphill battle for wellness participation without any incentive. If better health or lifestyle were incentive enough, wouldn’t your employees already be doing it on their own?

Keep in mind that incentives can be used to maintain interest during a long initiative by rewarding short-term goals as well as long-term goals. For example, a step challenge that lasts 90 days can suffer from drop off in participation if excitement wears off. To avoid this, you can offer small prizes or awards on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in addition to a grand prize at the end of the full 90 days.

Read More: Free Step Challenge Timeline & Checklist

A little inspiration goes a long way, so don’t worry if you have little to no budget. There are many ways you can generate interest from your employees. Check out some of our wellness program incentive ideas with a range of price tags:

  • Free PTO Day(s)

  • Catered Lunch for a Day/Week

  • Special Parking Spot

  • Cash/Gift Cards

  • Trophy

  • Personal Chef Service for a Day

  • Branded Company Swag

  • Free Gym Membership

  • Yoga/Pilates/Cycle/Etc. Classes

  • Fitness Headphones

  • Smart Water Bottles

  • Fitness Tracker (FitBit, Garmin, Misfit, Apple Watch, etc.)

Read More: Wellness Programs – Small Businesses & Budgets


 Evaluate and Present Your Wellness Results

A wellness program needs to prove its worth to maintain support from your CEO and CFO. The best way to showcase the effectiveness of your program to C-Suite members should include hard data.

If you set up your SMART goals, you will have a much easier time showing measurable results. At the end of your wellness year, or at the end of each program, you can share results with your whole company as well as targeted results for your C-Suite. Just remember to be mindful of HIPAA guidelines!

Don’t forget the experts at Austin Benefits Group can help you tailor your Wellness Program and guide you throughout the year in Benefits, Wellness, and Human Resources. For more information about all of our services, please contact us today!

Cathy Siska COO

Cathy Siska
Chief Operating Officer

2018-04-10T14:53:10-04:00 Health & Wellness|