Designing a wellness program from scratch can be intimidating. It's a big step for any company. But here's the good news: If you rely on a few key concepts, you truly can build a successful program that impacts your employees' health and improves your company's bottom line.
At Wellness Corporate Solutions, we've developed what we believe is the best recipe for program success. Although every organization is different, our methods have worked for groups of all shapes and sizes -- and we're confident they'll work for yours as well:
Step One: Develop a starting point. To measure program effectiveness, you first need a clear baseline. Start by collecting as many metrics as possible. Offer initial biometric screenings. Determine how many employees are at risk for diabetes and heart disease. See if they're at risk for metabolic syndrome. The data you collect early on can help guide your programming choices for years to come.
Step Two: Survey your employees. Learn about their interests. Ask about their current health routine and the programs they'd be most interested in. Are they willing to give up their lunch hour for a workout? Are some employees already trying to lose weight or exercise more? A successful wellness program is tailored to participants' wants and needs.
Step Three: Set incentives thoughtfully. Be careful when designing an incentive strategy. Some companies opt for the "carrot" (a modest incentive) or the "stick" (a penalty for not participating) -- or a carrot so big it feels like a stick (a HUGE incentive). We've found that the carrot approach typically generates more participation over time without generating a feeling of resentment. The goal is for employees to feel self-motivated to participate; the incentive should simply be an added bonus.
Step Four: Make your programming interactive, competitive, and fun. Successful wellness programs contain each of these components. Consider offering a wellness portal that gives participants a one-stop spot for all their health and wellness information. Make it fun and interactive, using social media and webinars to highlight the latest wellness trends. A portal can also host fun and engaging team-based challenges with a real-time leader board, tapping into your employees' competitive spirit.
Launching a new wellness program can feel daunting -- which is why you need a wellness partner who truly understands your company's demographics and culture. If you're looking for ideas, just drop us a line. We'll be happy to help.