Sometimes starting a workplace wellness program can sound easier than it is. Between the conversations with leaders, talking with vendors and getting people to use the wellness program, it can be a lot. 

Not all corporate wellness programs are successful, despite how promising the goals can be for an organization. Implementation of a wellness plan is hardly a “one-size-fits-all” process, which can make finding the right solution feel daunting. Perhaps your company is not yet realizing the true benefits that can be had with effective workplace wellness programs—but that’s not to say it can’t.  

How to implement a wellness program at work 

So, what can you do to implement successful changes to your wellness program at work?  The following four factors can help: 

  • Get support from leaders 
  • Ensure your wellness program meets worker needs 
  • Allow for flexibility and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach 
  • Communicate your programs and share it with employees 

Get support from the top down 

Wellness needs to be a priority amongst the highest levels of leadership in partnership with HR. When the leaders of the organization are concerned, interested, and invested, they'll have greater motivation to ensure the programs offered are conducive to the company and its culture. Leaders who are passionate about the kind of benefits provided will make it a personal priority to offer relevant, beneficial, and rewarding programs for everyone in the company — including the C-suite. 

Align wellness options with employee needs 

There’s no one right answer to corporate wellness programs, instead programs need to be tailored to meet the immediate needs and desires of your culture. Start by assessing your employees' needs and preferences through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one discussions. Use this feedback to create wellness offerings that are flexible (more on that next!). Regularly gather feedback and adjust your wellness programs accordingly to ensure ongoing alignment.  

Allow for flexibility  

Health and wellness initiatives are extremely personal in nature and therefore require flexibility to meet varying schedules, abilities, and needs. While you can’t provide the perfect solution for every person, providing options and flexibility within the programs you do offer will provide maximum engagement. 

Communicate your programs 

When it comes to wellness programs, communication is key. With so many distractions, deadlines and competing work priorities in front of employees each day, it’s important to integrate new and innovative ways of getting the messages out and heard. Highlight the benefits and how to get involved using multiple mediums such as social media, newsletters, onsite information booths, websites, physical collateral, etc. Make sure there are individuals on staff that are well-versed in the details to answer questions and provide clear direction on the programs provided. 

Signs your wellness program isn’t working 

Should you rethink your approach to corporate wellness? First, consider these four common signs that it may be time to make changes to your wellness program offerings—and ideas to get started. 

There’s a general lack of enthusiasm from employees 

Best practices indicate that wellness programs are what companies need and what employees want. However, what happens when your employees are seemingly uninterested in current offerings? There can be various reasons for this, including a lack of effective communication addressing the programs and benefits provided. In other cases, some programs simply don’t meet the needs of employees. It’s estimated that one in 10 workers would take a pay cut to have access to better benefits. 

The program isn’t being used 

Engagement is one of the leading metrics for determining a wellness program’s success. When there’s no engagement, no one benefits. A lack of engagement is often linked to either a general lack of enthusiasm, a misunderstanding of benefits or a misalignment of offerings and employee needs. If there’s been a dedicated effort to communicate effectively and there’s still poor engagement, it might be time to re-evaluate what's being offered in the first place.  

You can’t justify the cost of current programs  

Wellness programs can present a significant cost for employers, no matter how necessary they are. Some organizations can find themselves in partnerships that prove to be costly, creating financial stress. When the cost far outweighs the benefit experienced by both the employee and business, it’s time to find different partnerships. 

You aren’t effectively tracking 

One key characteristic of a successful wellness plan is the ability to track and monitor engagement, progress, and return on investment. Without metrics in place to understand enrollment, use and improvement, there’s no baseline for how effective your program is. If you aren’t currently leveraging metrics to analyze the impact of your workplace wellness benefits, it’s time to find solutions and/or partnerships that will help your organization leverage this capability into the future. 

Bottom line: Even if you aren’t experiencing the results you want from the current benefits offered, you can implement a successful workplace wellness program for your employees. Ready to explore how other brands implement flexible, tailored solutions like ClassPass to provide the options the workforce wants? Get the details. 

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