Effective Wellness Program

What Makes an Effective Wellness Program?

An effective wellness program is a benefit to both the employee and the employer.  However, what makes an effective workplace wellness program for both the business and for the employee? Many factors go into a successful employee wellness programs and the best workplace programs are those that focus on promoting healthy behaviors.  If you over complicate the program or make utilization of your wellness program difficult you will decrease participation.  Let’s explore what makes a workplace wellness program successful.

Ease of Use

After decades of study Dr. Steve Aldana has shown 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.”

A well-organized Ease of Useprogram includes one that has less paperwork and hoops to jump through for both the organization and the individual. It involves less effort to get involved and plan activities. Smaller companies don’t have the manpower to create and manage wellness programs. And larger companies want more activities that appeal to everyone. All companies want something to easily capture employee interest, improve employee health and reduce health care costs.  Employee participation in wellness programs help employers recruit and keep qualified, interested, engaged employees.

Regardless of company size, an effective wellness program needs to be uncomplicated and simple. Individuals want a program that is at their fingertips and easy to access.  An effective wellness program not only provides health benefits, it saves the employee time and money and lets them know you care about their well-being.   An easy to use intuitive system which is readily available is key to capturing, keeping and maintaining a productive workforce.



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 adapt health promotion program should use best and promising practices to maximize the likelihood of achieving positive results.”

A successful program offers a variety bicycling to minimize health risksof activities whether they are fitness activities, volunteering opportunities, and/or team-building exercises. No one wants to be doing the same activities time and again, so a variety is key. Additionally, scheduling a range of activities will appeal to a broader range of people and increase program participation.  The goal and success of your wellness program depends on the consistency of participation.

Know your goals and schedule your program accordingly.  What seems like a lot of work is really quite easy to maintain and monitor when you have the proper tools.


Employee Participation

What good is a workplace wellness program if no one uses it or it is too complicated to use or hard to access? A flexible program that offers a range of times, dates, locations, and activities and is simple to use is key to employee participation. Programs that have something for everyone will also increase usage.

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.  Clinically significant improvements occurred with a significant increase resulted in feelings of calmness and peace, happiness, ability to cope with stress and more physical energy.

Getting the majority of your employees to participate improves employee engagement and work culture.  Giving your employees choices of activities with the added benefit of not having to travel to a gym while participating with co-workers and friends will increase employee participation.  Increased participation makes employees feel good, improves mental health and productivity.


Employee Engagement

The Society for Human Resource Management Employee Engagementhas concluded, “Employees who are 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.”

Your effective wellness program will increase your employees’ engagement with one another, giving you the competitive advantage, and your employees the benefit of feeling healthier and working as a team.  Engaged employees think in terms of “we” versus “they”.   Individuals that feel connected give more to the organization and respond in a positive manner.

Furthermore, valuable 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’ mean a more productive company.



A successful wellness program promotes inclusion by having participants interact with new people they may not have met otherwise. Randomly matching up employees with people that have similar interests promotes diversity which will help make your company a place that is appealing to future employees.

An inclusion-based wellness program that brings your diverse workforce together promotes different viewpoints and innovative ideas are born.


In Real Life Activitiesvolunteering

Today people spend a lot of their time with on-line social activities. Wellness programs that encourage employees to interact and participate in real life activities, such as volunteering, team building, and fitness activities enable staff to make connections and maybe get a little fitness in as well.

When you can combine a wellness program with social activities you are combining real life interactions with an on-line social community.  You are helping your employees make connections and transfer knowledge.  This promotion of workplace energy and inclusion can help your company’s bottom line.

Looking for A Wellness Program that Works Effectively

Our inclusion based wellness program offers variety in fitness activities, volunteering opportunities, and team-building exercises, and is easy to use and access.

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

  • Productivity increases.
  • Turnover decreases.
  • Happiness increases.
  • Employees are satisfied at work.

Want to learn more?  Click here to setup a demo.