Investing in your employees’ good health is money well spent – and a great way to do that is through a company wellness program.
You’ve already made the wise decision to take this proactive step toward a healthier work force. Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify Your Employees’ Needs.
- Survey your work force to determine their health care needs. Include questions pertinent to family members as well. (Note for the future: Plan to re-survey periodically to check progress and keep your program current.)
- Contact your health insurance provider to see if they will offer you a discount for implementing the program.
Recruit a Wellness Team.
- Appoint a wellness coordinator. This could be an existing employee if that option is feasible – or consider an outside contractor. Among their first duties will be developing a mission statement, setting a budget and forming a committee.
- Your company wellness committee should be a cross representation of your employee population. Depending on the makeup of your workplace, representatives typically come from human resources, public relations, health and safety, your union and/or your dietary department or cafeteria.
- Wellness is mission driven. Your committee will use its mission statement as its North Star, setting direction for the future. And the mission statement should be based on results of the initial employee survey.
Have a Plan and Set Measurable Goals.
- Set reasonable, achievable goals. For instance, one goal could be to have a certain percentage of employees enrolled in a smoking cessation program within six months. Determine how you will measure and evaluate progress.
- Include fiscal goals. You may want to reduce worker’s compensation cost. By how much? And by when? And how much will this save the company? This data will justify program continuance.
Form Healthy Partnerships.
- Reach out to health and fitness businesses to see if they’ll offer discounts to your employees. Gyms, nutritionists, massage therapists and yoga studios are just a few options.
Make it Convenient and Fun.
- Develop a calendar of events that works for your employees. If you have a multi-shift work force, be sure to accommodate everyone. Your “back shift” workers will be especially appreciative! And the more programs held on site, the better.
- Provide incentives. Rewards really do work. Provide smaller incentives for joining the program and incrementally larger ones for reaching milestones. Think gift cards, paid days off or free parking, or use items specific to your program design, such as pedometers, cookbooks or sugar-free candy and gum.
Get the Word Out.
- Involve your communications staff right from the start and publicize your wellness program regularly. Utilize whichever media are most effective to reach your work force: email, newsletters, in-house television and/or bulletin boards.
- Create an informational packet for distribution to all employees. Include it – as well as a presentation on program – as part of new staff orientation.
- Hold an initial kick-off event. Consider offering flu shots, cholesterol screens, blood pressure testing or body mass index (BMI) assessments, along with information and incentives.
The experts at Alternative Staffing can help you develop your wellness team and make your program viable for the short and long term. To learn more, contact us today or visit or job board to see our available positions.