Workplace Wellness Strategies

Employee Wellness: Where to Begin

employee wellness, engagement, employee wellness programs, employee well-being, culture of wellness

ABC’s of Starting an Employee Wellness Program

Are you thinking about starting an employee wellness program or making improvements to your current plan? It can be an exciting venture for any company. When done right, incorporating wellness into your culture  ignites new energy into your workforce. However, it can be a lot of work for you and your decision makers. Through our experience working with clients there are usually a number of fears or concerns that come with taking that leap. Just like other companies we partner with, we want wellness to be successful for your company and your employees. So before making those major decisions, consider these important steps.

This is what we believe needs to be the foundation of any good wellness program.

A. Gain Leadership Support and Key Team Member Commitment

As a leader in your organization you must be on board; working towards the same wellness goals you consider important for your employees. It’s not just senior leadership support that is needed, but also commitment from key members throughout the organization, at all levels. Find executive champions. Let them know what you expect of them. We work closely with wellness committees and decision-making boards within many of our current client companies. We find it helpful when key people from most or each department are part of the process. Be sure to listen to their opinions. This can be beneficial in determining what may drive participation for employees in various positions and departments. Give recognition to your wellness champions when they make the effort to do their part.

B. Establish a Culture of Well-Being

Do you truly want a healthier, happier workforce? Would you like to see your employees do their part and work together as a team to achieve that? This has to be a part of your overall company culture. It should be in line with your business’ core values.

Can an employee realistically make lifestyle changes towards healthier eating if they are expected to be at work 10+ hours of their day with only access to fried or convenient foods? Are active breaks encouraged in your workplace?

If you are ‘nudging’ your employees to go through health screenings or giving them incentives to complete an online PHA, but not making them feel supported in making appropriate changes to improve, what are you actually achieving?

Establishing a culture you believe in means having a clear and consistent vision and knowing how you’d like everyone, inside and outside, to view your company. Ask yourself and your team the following questions:

  • Have you considered whether your employees and your customers perceive your business as a healthy workplace?
  • What can you do to improve this?
  • Have you considered how your employee wellness program will gradually improve your overall company culture?
  • How is the culture change you are aiming for going to impact your employees’ well-being?

C. Establish Key Goals and Appropriate Measures

Any program needs to be evaluated consistently. Establish clear written goals before starting your program and determine how you will reevaluate those goals frequently. It’s also important to remember that change takes time. Be sure your goals are realistic.

Measuring return on investment is important. There are a number ways you can measure this and you want to be sure you will be getting comprehensive and cohesive data from your wellness vendor so you can accurately measure ROI over time. Be sure you are also able to get measures on what is most important to you and your decision-making team. Looking at ways to measure value on investment can be just as meaningful for your organization. Measuring items like participation and engagement, program perception and understanding, behavior change, retention, presenteeism and employee morale may be just as impactful to you and your team as biometric and health outcomes.

At all stages of a wellness program, be sure to keep your eye on the main goal.

Keep in mind, the overall goal is to improve employee well-being and positively impact your company as a whole. This can and should be done differently for each organization. It all may seem a little overwhelming but you don’t have to start with a full turn-key or high-cost program. Finding the right wellness partner or vendor can be fundamental in taking those first steps. A wellness vendor who truly cares about improving employee well-being and getting lasting results will help you get started and build your program gradually and effectively.

SB Wellness GroupSB Wellness has been consulting and providing wellness programming for businesses large and small for over 20 years now. We are passionate about what we do and great at building trusting relationships with our clients and the individuals we work with. We would be glad to help you take those first important steps in developing a wellness program that works for you and your company. Contact us for a free consultation or for more information about the services we offer.


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