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9 Steps to Planning For Wellness

Woman with checklistYou want to have a healthier worksite, but you just don't know where to start. Here is a step by step guide to help you begin the process.

Step One: Complete Onsite Assessment

If your company has over 100 employees and is located in Mecklenburg County, NC you may qualify for a free onsite worksite wellness assessment. Contact the Working Toward Wellness Program Coordinator for more information. You may also download a free Self Assessment to determine your company’s needs and barriers to wellness.

Step Two: Make the Case for Management Support

Speak with your management staff to determine their interest and support in providing a healthier work environment for employees. Share with management some of the recommendations from the worksite assessment to give them a vision for what your team would like to accomplish.

Step Three: Complete Employee Interest Surveys, Focus Groups and Health Risk Assessments

An Employee Interest Survey can give you an idea of the interests of your workforce.  Get your survey started with this template.

Focus groups are a great way to get employees talking about what is important to them in the workplace. Be sure the facilitator is an independent party that will allow employees to express their true needs. You may want to invest in a Health Risk Assessment to determine the real health risks and needs of your employees, this is also a great way to track return on investment over time.

Step Four: Establish a Worksite Wellness Committee
Gathering a group of employee advocates along with any managerial support will help disperse the work and make it easier to continue long term. Find out what the interests of your advocates are and allow them to become involved in the programs they are most passionate about. Schedule set meeting times, consistency is important. Volunteers will work best if they know they are being held accountable to what they have committed to accomplish so be sure to take meeting notes and send reminders about what they have said they would do and always ask for a verbal report during your meetings. You may even want to type up meeting minutes to give to executives to keep them informed of your efforts. Click here for more tips for setting up a worksite wellness team.

Step Five: Create a Worksite Wellness “Brand” For Your Program

Choose a logo and tag line to represent your team. Here is a list of catchy tag lines and logos other companies have used or you may create your own tag line with a twist on your company motto or name. It should be short and easily recognizable, you are marketing wellness and this tag line and logo will need to be highly visible. Any publication the Wellness Committee puts out should be labeled with this logo so employees and administration will recognize the changes you are making.

Step Six: Discuss with Worksite Wellness Committee Short and Long Term Changes
Once your committee is established, determine the short and long term changes you would like to implement. Determine which items are easy fixes and which ones will require a little planning.

Use the plan and implement solutions worksheet to help track your progress. Make a list of the items you would like to implement in the first quarter of your wellness program. Assign each item to one of your Worksite Wellness Committee members to implement. Choose an emphasis that will help your wellness program have a cohesive feel. Have fun and make it interesting.

Step Seven: Have a Worksite Wellness Launch Event
Launching a new program is important in creating excitement and program success. The launch event will let employees know this is something new the company is doing. It will also give employees the opportunity to ask questions about how these programs will affect them, let them know where to get more information and put the administrative stamp of approval on the programs.

Consider having a launch party with an executive from the company explaining the benefits of worksite wellness and applauding the committee's efforts. Executive support is vital to the success of a wellness program. Offer incentives for attending the launch, either a healthy lunch or some other prize with the new wellness logo on it. 

Step Eight: Advertise Supporting Program Start Dates
Determine how to best advertise to employees when and where programs will be held. Give employees plenty of advance notice and even offer incentives for participation. Consider choosing 3 different methods of communication to get the best response. Flyers or emails alone will not have the same effect as flyers, emails and department meeting notices together. The more they hear about a program the more interested they will become.

Step Nine: Evaluate Success of Programs
This is one of the most important steps. You need to evaluate program success to provide sustainability.

When management hears how many employees are participating in your wellness programs they may be willing to provide extra funds for incentives or staff time to help continue your efforts. Gather data from each event including a head count, satisfaction survey and suggestions for improvement. You may want to leave some space for employees to write in their thoughts about the new wellness program, testimonials can have real power in building a case for more resources and continued support. Read more about the Keys To A Successful Wellness Program.


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