Chances are you cannot pull off a top-notch corporate wellness program without consulting wellness professionals. A third-party wellness consultant should be well-versed in WELCOA’s 7 Benchmark’s, state-wide wellness initiatives and grants and will be able to help you better navigate best practices for your specific type of organization and employee base.
AdvantageHealth, based in Minnesota, designs each program based on clients’ business plans and culture, and then implements, manages and evaluates it throughout its existence. Over the next 7 blog posts, we will discuss the seven foundational elements of employee wellness in detail as identified by the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and Living Health in Washington County (LHWC). These include:
7 foundational elements of employee wellness:
- Step 1: Recruiting and Engaging Leadership: Invite leaders at the workplace to take an active role in worksite wellness.
- Step 2: Convening a Worksite Wellness Committee: Create a team and meet regularly to work on wellness issues.
- Step 3: Conducting a Comprehensive Worksite Assessment: Assess current workplace environment and identify opportunities for wellness.
- Step 4: Developing a Vision and Brand: Set goals and priorities for wellness initiates and consider branding the program.
- Step 5: Creating a Comprehensive Wellness Plan with Measurable Goals: Document goals, strategies, and timelines in a comprehensive wellness plan.
- Step 6: Administering an Employee Health Assessment: Assess your employee population to provide programs and initiatives geared toward their needs and wants.
- Step 7: Establishing and/or Measuring Policy, Environment or Social Supports for Employee Wellness: Determine the success of your program as it relates to these specific measures.
STEP 1: RECRUITING & ENGAGING LEADERSHIP Support, communication & modeling
When leadership models healthy behavior, employees are more likely to engage in healthy practices.
The first step to a successful worksite wellness program is asking management to support the wellness program and communicate their support. The four points below are especially critical for management to ensure a successful wellness program:
- Communicating clearly and frequently. Leadership, including upper managers or business owners, need to communicate the wellness message clearly and frequently. This should include written materials and public presentations. In addition, adding wellness to the company’s overall strategic plan and incorporating wellness and health management into the vision/mission of the company is also important for the long-term success of your program. Utilize creative marketing and communication tactics including videos and photos whenever possible.
- Funding and resource allocation. The four areas that leadership should consider funding include: staffing, programming, space, and time. Determine how the wellness program will be funded going forward. Are there grants you can apply for? Will your insurance contribute to the funding? Will employees who do NOT participate in the program fund the program by paying $150 per year, for example?
- Delegating wellness roles and initiatives. The more people who have been delegated formal responsibilities for the organization’s wellness initiative, the more likely it is to succeed over time— and the more likely it is to become part of the organization’s culture. Best practices include having the CEO delegating initiatives to senior level executives, middle managers, and front line employees, and appointing them to the wellness committee, for an effective wellness program.
- Modeling healthy behaviors. Leadership should set an example by role modeling healthy actions. This should include participating in an annual health risk assessment, receiving an annual physical, regularly participating in company wellness offerings, and taking part in community wellness activities or healthy acidity/hobby. Share photos ad videos whenever possible along with quotes from leadership.
If you need additional help with recruiting and engaging leadership, contact AdvantageHealth. Check out AdvantageHealth’s CONSULTING SERVICES for additional expertise with this area or CONTACT AdvantageHealth.
Kristine Keykal, Co-Founder & CEO of AdvantageHealth, has been helping businesses create custom, award-winning corporate wellness programs for over 20 years.