Worksite Wellness: Back to the Basics
As we start off a New Year, much of the focus both individually and organizationally is around the question “What can we do differently this year to improve our well-being?” It can be a loaded and overwhelming question for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Often the stress arises because we are not taking stock of what we have been doing right and always focus on the many areas we need to improve.
When it comes to worksite well-being programs, most organizations are doing several things that they should be proud of. It is common that these things are not identified as being parts of the well-being strategy and get overlooked. Following documented best practices and setting aside adequate resources can help organizations maintain momentum and create opportunities for success in the areas of well-being programming.
We want to urge all groups who are wanting to enhance (or even begin) their worksite well-being programming in 2019 to start with a “Back to the Basics” approach and simplify their planning around these programs. A great resource that can help streamline the approach is the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) and their 7 best practices for employers to follow when creating a comprehensive, effective worksite health promotion program.
- Capture senior-level support
- Create a health promotion team – wellness ambassadors/champions
- Collect data that will drive your health promotion initiatives
- Craft an annual health promotion operating plan
- Choose appropriate health promotion initiatives
- Create a supportive environment
- Consistently evaluate your health promotion outcomes
We have found that while working with groups, some of the above listed items are easier than others to put into place and that is okay (and expected). It is important to recognize that these seven items will look a little bit different for every group depending on scope of the intended program, size of the group, resources available, etc. It is also critical to recognize that all of the above practices are necessary and need attention throughout the year for a program to maintain success. If someone in the organization is not willing and able to work with external partners on addressing these items and ensuring that they receive the attention they need, a comprehensive and effective program is going to be difficult to achieve.
For employers that already have implemented programming, going back to the basics and revisiting these best practices can help improve engagement and results of those programs already in place. A comprehensive worksite well-being strategy is not a “set it and forget it” type initiative. While it does not have to be overly time consuming or burdensome, a successful program is dependent on the work put into it — from all sources: external partners, broker partners, client resources, etc.
Our next series will highlight opportunities for companies to grow and work through the seven listed best practices, and we will provide actionable items that can help you answer the question of “What can we do this year to improve our well-being?”
If your company is interested in learning more about how these best practices can be implemented at your organization to improve your employee well-being initiatives, our team would love to help!
Please reach out to your Benefits Consultant for more information.