Six steps to workplace wellness success

By Ethan Painter on 4th Mar 2020

Workplace wellness is no longer a “new” concept or incentive for employees in the workforce. In fact, if you don’t currently have a wellness program implemented at your company it could be at risk of higher healthcare costs, higher absenteeism, and struggles to retain/attract top talent.

Implementing a wellness program can be confusing (which services to offer), frustrating (low participation), and very time consuming (unsupportive wellness committee) if you don’t take the proper steps to implement the program.

Gain CEO & upper management support
CEO & upper Management support is the most critical element of all. Without support and participation from this level of the company, the wellness program is doomed for failure. Have the CEO write a personalized letter to each employee expressing their support and asking for employee input on designing the wellness program.

Construct a thriving wellness committee
The wellness committee is the heart of your wellness program. Without a strong committee, you will see your participation diminish over time. Constructing a flourishing wellness committee is simple but often it’s just slapped together, lacks strong communication, and missing influencers in each wellness category.

Recruit members for your committee by sending out a formal invitation and having them complete an application. That way the employees know the expectation with being on the wellness committee (commitment length & contribution level). You will also find out what each employees strengths/passion are (fitness, stress management, nutrition, mindfulness, etc…)

Create your company’s wellness vision board and goals
Creating the vision board and goals for the company’s wellness program gives you a clear path to wellness success!
This step helps with keeping an “EYE” on the big picture, for example: Does your company want to focus on ROI or VOI?  How about both?

Creating a vision board that declares your objectives and goals for the year will help you define what services to offer and ways to measure the success of your wellness program.  This should be revisited annually. Your company’s goals can change over time and you want to make sure your vision board and mission statement reflect that. Plus, it’s a great way to show growth of your wellness program.

Understand what Services your employees want to utilize
Don’t throw spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks! This is typically the root of why your wellness program isn’t getting the participation that you desire.  Often, companies offer wellness services that the employees expressed “NO” interest in the first place. My best example is the “online wellness portal” that your company’s broker supplied.

Conduct an “employee health survey” to learn what services (bootcamp or circuit classes, yoga, health coaching, meditation, interactive workshops etc…) your employees would like to participate in.  You can then appoint wellness committee members to oversee these specific services and ensure success.

What needs to be put in place to measure the success of your wellness program
A lot people just focus on participation numbers to measure the success of a wellness program. While those numbers are important, you should be focusing on converting your unhealthy and inactive employees into healthy and active. Converting these employees will have the biggest impact on ROI or health care costs. Bio-Metric Screenings, primary care physician visits, blood work, & HRA’s are a great way to measure the ROI of a wellness program.

How to launch your wellness services to your employees
Having a formal launch party in conjunction with a health fair is the ideal way to introduce the wellness program to your employees! This provides a great opportunity for the CEO to speak with the employees, complete their Bio-Metric screenings/HRA’s, and it allows them to meet wellness professionals (fitness instructors, dietitians, wellness coaches, etc.) who will be helping to facilitate the program.

Workplace wellness doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or intimidating task to get started. When the proper steps and procedures are put into place, wellness can be a very stress-free and successful offering to your employees.

Ethan Painter has over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and has had previous employment with The Cleveland Clinic and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He the founder of Odyssey Fitness, Exercise Physiologist, and a Certified Corporate Fitness Specialist.

Ethan will be leading the workshop ‘Healthy Eating on the Go!’ at the Nashville Summer Wellness Fest on May 3. The workshop will teach how to easily prep mason jar salads. Come learn how to prep your own healthy salad in a jar, ready to take to work or share with others! These are simple to prepare, plus they can stay fresh up to seven days, plus, the first 20 participants to the workshop will get to build their very own salad!

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