7 Ways to Support Wellness from the Top-Down
Updated: Apr 30
Organizations around the country are striving to build results-oriented wellness programs that provide employees with ample resources to navigate the changing workplace. The infrastructure of a successful program relies on a team of leaders that is committed and aligned in its goals for the program. Leadership engaging in the well-being of their employees, as well as investing the time and resources to understand the unique needs and challenges of their organization are the first steps to creating a successful workplace wellness program. With this in mind, here are some benchmark tips to help you to better support wellness for your organization from the top-down:
Create a diverse team that is dedicated to building and ultimately sustaining a strategic workplace wellness program. This allows employees at all levels to be involved and helps to foster support throughout the organization. Recruiting key stakeholders to help lead the collaborative and sustained approach is critical at the onset.
Having an energized and empowered group of wellness champions can help you make sure the needs of your employees are represented. A wellness champion network is a group of employees who are dedicated to fostering a culture of wellness at your organization. Wellness champions play a significant role in communicating and promoting the wellness program within their departments and areas and providing regular feedback to and from the employees.
Developing an operating plan is important in documenting the details of your workplace wellness program. Lay out your organization’s goals, visions, opportunities, and investments in wellness, Reflect on how your strategy aligns with the values and mission of the organization, and adjust if needed. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
After you have established a vision and created and well-rounded, cohesive team, it is time to begin implementing your workplace wellness initiatives. Understanding your employee population is essential to these initiatives making an impact. Collecting meaningful information, such as biometric screening data, medical claims trends, or surveying wellness interests are all helpful methods to better understand the needs of your employees. Use the information you collect to guide your wellness strategy and design your initiatives.
While many organizations begin by implementing a wide variety of basic wellness initiatives (e.g. yoga classes, lunch and learns, weight programs), wellness interventions are much more likely to be successful when they are carefully planned based on concrete data. Your deeper understanding of your employees’ needs will allow you to build a more targeted, intensive, and impactful wellness program.
Evidence-based programs can support employees across the health and wellness spectrum (e.g. nutrition, resilience, stress, financial, physical activity etc.) and can be offered in a range of proficiency levels. Catering to all employees, no matter where they are on their wellness journey will help ensure a higher engagement level overall.
Continue to channel your organization’s core vision to foster consistency between the wellness program and the organization as a whole. This will ensure that your organization has a supportive, health-promoting environment that is conducive to wellness. Making wellness part of the workplace culture will enable a long-lasting successful program that produces true outcomes and benefits.
Just as you gathered information to help you design your program strategy, it is just as important to continue collecting data to evaluate your success. Based on the data you collect; you can determine which interventions have made a positive impact and which ones need improvement. This continuous evaluation will help your program adapt to represent the changing needs and growth of your organization.
From initial planning, to implementation, to evaluation, a wellness program that has strong support from leadership is more likely to have the attention, resources, and alignment with company values it needs to succeed.
At Wellness Workdays, we help to support leadership and wellness champions in cultivating their vision of workplace wellness. To learn more about successful wellness program design and implementation, check out the Best Wellness Employer certification program, Contact Us to learn more!