How To Build Your Company’s First Wellness Program


You know your company needs to do something about health and wellness, but with budget constraints and limited time, starting your company’s first wellness program can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are countless ways you can start positively influencing your office’s wellness culture today.

Assess Needs

The first step to developing your company’s inaugural wellness program is to stop and assess your company’s specific opportunities and needs. The best way to do this is to: ask your employees.

Start by surveying your employees to determine what types of programs peak their interest. Depending on the size of your company, put together a survey with options of the types of programs your company is willing to invest in. Here are a few ideas of our favorite ideas to get you started:

  • health screenings,
  • regular nutrition workshops,
  • inter-departmental competitions,
  • fitness trackers and apps,
  • healthier food in vending machines  and cafeterias, 
  • standing desks, 
  • walking meetings, or
  • bike-to-work days

Another valuable way to gain direction for your wellness program is to ask employees to take Health Risk Assessments (HRAs). This questionnaire will provide your employees with an in-depth summary of their health risks as well as insight into any unhealthy habits. Available in both print or electronic formats, the data from HRA can help your organization determine what wellness programs will be most beneficial for your employees. 

Get Employees on Board

For any wellness program to truly resonate and engage employees, it’s important for the program to have a relatable, human face. One of the best ways to do this is to develop a wellness team to oversee the development and implementation of your organization’s wellness program. 

Begin inviting employees and managers from all sectors and levels of your organization. Find employees who are already devoting time to living an active lifestyle. Often times, there people in your company who are already passionate about their active lifestyles and simply need to be empowered to invite new people into the activities or lifestyles they love.

With excited and passionate employees at the forefront of your wellness program, your wellness program will be poised to start out on the right foot.

Set Concrete Goals

Before you begin assembling your wellness team, take time to set clear objectives for your health and wellness program. Be sure you know what you want to see happen as a result of this investment. Be as specific as possible with your desired outcomes. Do you want to increase employees’ productivity? Decrease sick days? Encourage team building within departments? Use wellness programs as a recruiting or retention incentive? 

Keep in mind, what works for one company doesn’t mean the same will work for your company. Instead, base your success on customizing a wellness program that interests and excites your unique workforce. 

Use Your Resources

When starting something new within your company, there’s no need to completely reinvent the wheel. Instead take a look around and see how you can join in the activities that are already in motion. 

Is there a 5K charity walk taking place next month in your city? Encourage each department to form a team and walk together. Contact a nearby gym to see if they have special group rates or if they would partner with you once a month to offer employees a special class. Does your company’s communication department send out regular emails? Ask if you can create a “Wellness Column” to begin infusing wellness conversation starters throughout the company.

Building your company’s very first wellness program can feel like an impossible hurdle to tackle, but with a few intentional, well-directed steps, your company will be on it’s way to wellness in no time at all.

Is there a 5K charity walk taking place next month in your city? Encourage each department to form a team and walk together. Contact a nearby gym to see if they have special group rates or if they would partner with you once a month to offer employees a special class. Does your company’s communication department send out regular emails? Ask if you can create a “Wellness Column” to begin infusing wellness conversation starters throughout the company.

Building your company’s very first wellness program can feel like an impossible hurdle to tackle, but with a few intentional, well-directed steps, your company will be on it’s way to wellness in no time at all.

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