8 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Wellness Program

How to Create an Effective Wellness Program?

Many factors go into creating an effective employee wellness program. The best ones focus on promoting healthy behaviors and an over-complicated program will only decrease participation. So what makes an employee wellness program successful for both the company and the employees? Let’s explore the success factors!

1. Easy to Use

A decades-long study by Dr. Steve Aldana discovered that “…not every wellness program is able to show positive results.  The ones that are well-organized and follow effective behavior change models show the best results.”

Ease of Use

Smaller companies don’t have the manpower to create and manage corporate wellness programs, while larger companies want more activities that appeal to everyone.

All companies want to implement a program that will capture employee interest, improve employee health and reduce health care costs.

Regardless of company size, an effective wellness program needs to be uncomplicated and simple. Employees want a program that is at their fingertips and easy to use!

An employee wellness program should not only be easy to use, but it should also include an intuitive system that offers readily available data which is a key to capturing, keeping and maintaining a productive workforce.

What seems like a lot of work is really quite easy to maintain and monitor when you have the proper tools.

2. Offer Variety

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine states, “Evidence accumulated over the past three decades shows that well-designed and well-executed programs that are founded on evidence-based principles can achieve positive health and financial outcomes. 

Employers seeking a program that “works” are urged to consider their goals…Employees who chose to adopt a health promotion program should use best and promising practices to maximize the likelihood of achieving positive results.”

A successful employee wellness program offers a variety bicycling to minimize health risksof activities such as fitness activities, volunteering opportunities, and/or team-building exercises. No one employee wants to be doing the same activities time and time again, so a variety is key.

It’s important to schedule a range of activities that will appeal to a broader range of people and increase program participation.

A successful wellness program depends on the consistency of participation.

3. Make Participation Flexible

What good is a workplace or employee wellness program if no one uses it, or if it is just too complicated to use or hard to access? A flexible program offering a range of times, dates, locations, and activities is important to have in order to drive in employee participation. Programs that offer “something for everyone” will increase usage.

Providing employees with choices of activities that include an added benefit (i.e. not having to travel to a gym) while participating with co-workers and friends will increase employee participation. Increased participation in the wellness program improves mental health and productivity.

A study conducted by Ph.D. Ray Merrill, Ph.D. Steven Aldana, RN Judy Garrett, and RD Chip Ross assessed the effectiveness of a workplace wellness program.  More than 80% of employees participated in the program.  Significant improvements resulted in employees feelings of calm, happiness, the ability to cope with stress and more physical energy.

4. Involve Engagement

The Society for Human Resource Management Employee Engagementhas concluded, “Employees who are highly engaged in their work and committed to their organization give companies crucial competitive advantages—including higher productivity and lower employee turnover. 

In identifying the three best measures of a company’s health, business consultant and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch recently cited employee engagement first, with customer satisfaction and free cash flow coming in second and third respectively.”

Nevertheless, an effective employee wellness program will increase employee engagement and provide the company with a competitive advantage.

When employees start feeling healthier and happier and learn how to work in constructive teams, they take greater pride in their work and the company overall. Engaged employees think in terms of “we” versus “they.”  People who feel connected give more to the organization and respond in a positive manner.

Valuable employee wellness programs reduce staff turnover, have a higher rate of employee retention, improve productivity and efficiency, and lower healthcare spending. Most importantly, engaged employees are happier. Happy employees create a more productive company.

6. Inclusion is Key

A successful employee wellness program promotes inclusion by having participants interact with new people they may not have met otherwise. Randomly selected employees matched up with people who have similar interests promotes diversity. This also makes the company a place that is appealing to future employees.

An inclusion-based employee wellness program will bring your diverse workforce together and promote different viewpoints as well as innovative ideas!

7. Endorse Real-Life Activitiesvolunteering

Today, people spend a lot of their time with on-line social activities. Successful employee wellness programs encourage employees to interact and participate in real-life activities, such as volunteering, team building, and fitness activities.

The combination of an employee wellness program with social activities and real-life interactions alongside an online social community helps employees to make deeper connections and transfer knowledge.

This promotion of workplace energy and inclusion will help your company’s bottom line.

8. Find a New Approach!

Plan2Play for Work is an inclusion based employee wellness program that provides an easy way for companies to offer a variety of accessible fitness activities, volunteering opportunities, and team-building exercises.

Employees indicate their interests and availability and Plan2Play for Work does the rest to:

  • Increase Productivity
  • Decreases Turnover
  • Increase Workplace Happiness
  • Create Workplace Culture
  • Increase Employee Satisfaction
  • And more…

We’d love to show you how it all works. Contact us to set up a demo today!