Taking the First Step: An Introduction to Starting a Corporate Wellness Program

Take a moment to consider your company and what is being done to promote health and wellness among its employees. 

Does your company have an employee wellness program? If so, do you experience aspects of this wellness program on a daily basis? Company wellness programming encompasses a wide range of degrees of implementation, from simple, bare-bones health initiatives like a no-smoking policy to complex, company-wide solutions that integrate health and wellness into the culture of the organization across all levels. 

Even if your company has never considered a wellness program, it is important to understand that the health and wellness of your employees will always be affected in some way, whether positively or negatively, by your company, the way it operates, and the ensuing workplace culture that develops. 

It is up to you to decide how you would like your company to affect the health and wellbeing of the individuals that it consists of. 

A Quick Overview

Different aspects of wellness programs, such as no-smoking policies, have become increasingly common, especially in the past 20 years. Additionally, people have become increasingly familiar with health and wellness in the workplace, leading to a solid foundation of research that sufficiently demonstrates the benefits of wellness programs. 

Many people already understand the value and benefits of wellness programs and may have already begun to add pieces of their own, but are ready to be strategic and create a more comprehensive, lasting program. For a deeper look into the research and statistics supporting company wellness programs, click here, here, and here

In this new series of articles, we will lead you through the process of corporate wellness programming, guiding you step-by-step from the initial decision to implement health and wellness initiatives to promoting longevity after the successful integration of a company-wide wellness program. Whether your company has yet to consider a wellness program or has been reaping the benefits of one for years, follow along for an in-depth guide to company wellness programming. 

The first step of the company wellness program creation process is carried out by the leader of the company and/or the individual given responsibility for the design of the wellness program. This first step can be broken down into three components: crafting your vision/purpose, obtaining leadership buy-in, and conducting an internal assessment. 

Crafting Your Vision

First, begin crafting your company vision by defining what you want your company and workplace culture to look like and finding the overall purpose of your wellness program. Some common purposes behind wellness programs that leaders may seek are financial benefits, a moral obligation, productivity benefits, promoting creativity, and fostering a more interactive workplace community. 

Some may choose to envision a company where standing desks and a company cafeteria promote a healthy, nutritious lifestyle in the workplace, while others may focus on risk reduction via flu vaccines and bi-annual health screenings. No matter what you choose as your vision and purpose, this step is important to establish a starting foundation of which to build off. 

Obtaining Leadership Buy-In

For individuals tasked with or interested in starting a wellness program, focus on obtaining these answers and buy-in from leadership. Before designing an actual program, company leadership must express buy-in to a wellness program from a conceptual, financial, and participation standpoint. 

Conceptual buy-in can be obtained through crafting your vision and finding your purpose, while financial and participation buy-in can be obtained through an internal assessment.

In the next article in this series, we’ll discuss how to conduct an internal assessment of any current wellness programs. For more information on implementing a wellness program, give us a call today