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How to Create a Successful Corporate Wellness Program

“Healthcare should be about health, not illness.”

 

Corporate wellness is the big buzz right now and it will only get bigger! As insurance costs rise, companies are starting to realize it is cheaper to keep their employees healthy, than to pay for all their medical bills. Employees also reap the benefits of a strong wellness program. Not only are they healthier, they are more productive and more present both at work and in their personal lives. My “best practices” combined with tips from an article from Dr. Barry Malinowski (3/13/2015) will help you develop an effective program for your company!

  1. Start with a strong foundation. The best way to begin a program is to get your senior leadership on board. Corporate wellness programs have a 70% success rate with management engagement.
  2. Build a wellness team.
    1. A combination of management and front line staff from all levels of health and fitness (not just people who go to the gym).
    2. If you have more than one location you should have a representative from all locations.
    3. Partner with a corporate wellness professional that can offer feedback and ideas.
  3.  Figure out the best approach and lay out a specific plan.  Delegate roles and responsibilities to your wellness team.
    1. Find out what health issues your employees are concerned about. What will be the focus of your program? Awareness? Education? Behavior Change? Consider interventions that would impact both low and high-risk staff. They must be specific and measurable. Ex. Lowering cholesterol, weight loss, smoking cessation.
    2. Who is the target audience? Employees only? Employee and spouse? Dependents? Retirees?
    3. Make a budget for promotions and events.
    4. What is the best approach to communicate directly to employees? Emails? Newsletters? Company meetings? Social media?
    5. Identify incentives that will increase participation.
    6. Develop a timeline for putting your plan into action.
  4. Promote health and wellness tips, recipes, and programs, on a regular basis. Create a culture of movement and health.
    1. Do not serve donuts and cookies at a staff meeting.
    2. Allow and encourage walking in meetings.
    3. Have healthy choices in vending machines or cafeterias.
  5. Evaluate and communicate your results. 
    1. What worked? What didn't? Keep track or participation at each event and use it for future planning.
    2. Make sure to follow up with participants of previous programs to make sure they stick to their new life style.
Ready to start? Need help or have questions? Contact Colleen Proctor at colleen@fitnessloftcolumbus.com or 614-782-1777.

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