How to Build a Well-Being Program
Simple, Fun & Effective
Setting up and administering a well-being program isn’t easy. Are you frustrated with low participation? Are you getting a return on your investment?
Workplace well-being doesn’t have to be that way! Start out with our 8- step process below. Then use our other free resources! You can also reach out to our team for a free consultation.
Steps to Creating a Workplace Well-Being Program
Before you start anything, it’s important to understand WHY you want to start an employee well-being program. Ask yourself these basic questions:
- Who do I want to benefit from this program?
- What do we want to accomplish with this program?
- Why now? Why didn’t we do it earlier?
Support from all levels of leadership is important to the success of your well-being program. We suggest having a specific kickoff meeting with your leadership teams to lay out the “why” of the program and to encourage them to participate in the direction of the program.
The leaders must be enrolled and engaged before you can ever expect employees to be engaged.
Your leadership will be your champions and ensure long-term success of the program if they are enrolled in the well-being program versus being told that a program is being rolled out.
We also suggest building a well-being committee that helps to steer the well-being strategy and serves as a feedback mechanism for the program.
Understanding the current well-being status of the company allows you to focus on where the biggest opportunities are to improve overall well-being.
For example, maybe your employees are struggling with high amounts of stress. It impacts their performance at work, satisfaction at home and their overall health.
If you didn’t know this, you could be spending massive amounts of time, money and energy on physical fitness challenges and nutrition. And while that will probably have a positive impact on employee stress, you’re not actually getting to the root of the problem. You’ll spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and using sticks to get people to participate.
We use our AVER Assessment to provide a comprehensive overview of the current well-being of the company.
Ultimately, everyone owns well-being.
But having a single point person that “owns” the well-being space in the company is important.
When we work with companies, we ask for a point person to be in charge of the internal workings of the well-being program. It’s also vital that this person has the attention of all leadership – including top leadership.
Also ask yourself if this person has the time and expertise to dedicate to well-being or if outside support will be vital to the success of your program.
Create a plan for 12 months to start with. Build in campaigns and initiatives that will have the biggest impact on total well-being.
Start simple! Focus on fun, accessibility and ease of participation. Well-being should be a part of your employees lives…not something else to do.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- Create an enrollment plan around every initiative. A few emails and newsletter mentions won’t cut it. Make it a part of your culture.
- KISS. Keep it Simple Sir. Don’t have complicated point systems or a lot for people to do.
- Plan for a year, but keep it flexible.
- Do you want spouses/domestic partners and families to participate? Most programs start with just employees in the first couple of years, then expand to families in subsequent years.
- Involve the wellness committee and key leaders in the process. It doesn’t need to be decision-by-committee, but give them opportunities to provide feedback on the plan as it is developed.
Time to get your employees excited! Create a marketing campaign that includes events, videos, emails, postcards, incentives and anything else that you can think of to get employees excited about the programs.
Make sure to leverage the leadership support you have already built for the program. Show employees that company leadership is intimately involved and supportive.
It’s helpful to set a realistic goal for the total number of employees to be involved.
Regularly engage with employees. Well-being is a long game and takes time to integrate into the culture of a company.
- Have a system in place to keep employees accountable to their goals.
- Seek feedback on the program.
- Monitor trends and engagement levels.
- Keep it fun!
Understand which metrics are important to the company.
Know that increasing employee well-being and seeing savings on health care, sick days and worker’s comp claims take time. Most companies don’t start to see cost savings until at least 2-3 years into a program.
Your early indicators of program success will be employee participation and engagement.