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Wellsource Blog

Five Ways to Energize Your Wellness Program

January 17, 2012

You help set the standard for your wellness program. Your participants count on your help to stay motivated and informed to make healthy lifestyle choices. All your efforts make a difference. It can be a challenge to manage a wellness program with the pressure to increase participation and deliver results that will positively impact the bottom line. But it's worth it when you help someone lose weight, cut their risk factors for major diseases, or see your participants embrace the wellness culture.

Wellness is always going to be a work in progress. And now is a great time to energize your wellness program to keep your participants on the right track. Here are five things you can do to give your wellness program a boost:

1. Gain Senior Level Support

This support is essential for a successful wellness program. Ask your Senior Level Management to:

  • Make public statements in support of the program
  • Include wellness in the organization's mission/vision statement
  • Allocate funds for wellness programming
  • Visibly engage in wellness events
  • Integrate wellness at all levels of the organization
  • Implement policies that promote and support workplace wellness
  • Provide flexible employee schedules that allow for participation in wellness events

2. Create a Wellness Committee

A wellness committee should include individuals from all levels and departments within your organization. In addition to giving valuable support for your wellness program, the committee can:

  • Evaluate program successes
  • Recommend changes to help your program run more efficiently
  • Suggest the best time to offer on-site programs (such as biometric screenings, or fitness and nutrition classes)
  • Assist with on-site program offerings such as a group exercise workout

3. Implement Workplace Wellness Policies

Create an environment that supports healthy lifestyle choices by implementing workplace wellness policies. These should encourage a healthy work-life balance, healthy physical environment, good nutrition, and physical activity. Examples of workplace wellness policies include:

  • Providing generous time-off policy to care for newborns
  • Encouraging employees to take all accrued vacation time to reenergize
  • Allowing employees to telecommute occasionally, if appropriate
  • Ensuring clean air for all workers by implementing a non-smoking policy on company grounds
  • Providing ergonomically correct workstations
  • Perking up stairwells with paint, pictures, and good lighting to encourage people to take the stairs
  • Providing water stations to encourage people to drink plenty of fluids
  • Providing healthy meals and snacks at all organizational meetings and events
  • Encouraging walking meetings in lieu of the conference room
  • Providing special membership rates at local fitness centers
  • Installing bike racks at work
  • Making flex time available for employees who want to exercise during work hours
  • Providing financial reimbursement for completing wellness classes

4. Communicate Wellness Messages Frequently

Frequent communication can help you maintain a healthy corporate environment. Include:

  • A daily wellness tip
  • Messages from Senior Level Management
  • Brief updates at all-employee meetings
  • Wellness newsletters sent to the home so family members can also be involved
  • Wellness posters announcing wellness events, or featuring motivating wellness messages, placed throughout the office

5. Make Wellness Resources Readily Available

This makes it easy for individuals to get needed information quickly. Include:

  • Monthly or quarterly wellness communications for all health plan beneficiaries
  • Medical self-care books
  • Self-study guides on health and wellness-related topics
  • Online wellness resources

Giving your wellness program a boost is a great way to gain Senior Level Management support. It will also attract more participants and encourage others to stick with the wellness program. Every time you make an investment in your wellness program, you're one step closer to seeing the results every organization wants: lower health claims, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and better morale. Keep up the good work.

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"Good health is your greatest asset. You will never regret a decision to take better care of your health."

Don Hall, DrPH, CHES, Founder Wellsource