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  • Writer's pictureWellness Workdays

Four Steps to a Successful Wellness Program

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

The absence of wellness at your organization is costly. Individuals with chronic conditions account for more than 75% of US health care spending. Corporate wellness programs are designed to support employees and their families, as they adopt and sustain behaviors that reduce health risks, improve quality of life, enhance productivity, and benefit the organization’s bottom line. When your employees are well, everyone wins.

If you are planning to start a wellness program at your organization, it can be tempting to simply host a series of seminars and post informational flyers, but this content alone isn't enough to drive behavior change for your employees. The most successful, the most successful wellness initiatives start with a strategic planning process like the one outlined below.

Follow these steps to get started:


Assessment is the first step of setting up a comprehensive, outcomes-driven wellness program. This crucial step can help determine the most important and impactful initiatives for your employees and your organization. A comprehensive assessment should include a thorough review of health claims costs and analysis, biometric screenings or physician visits, external stakeholder interviews, health-risk assessments, culture audits, and employee needs/interest surveys.


Developing a comprehensive strategy is a proven way to promote your desired outcomes. With clear goals, objectives, and a focus on the critical business issues related to wellness, you can better predict that your program will be a success. Senior-level support, organizational alignment, focus on engagement, strong communications, and a hands-on approach all help to drive the strategic focus. Building your initiatives based on best practices from reputable organizations, such as the Pillars of Wellness Program Success from the Harvard Business School, WELCOA or the Best Wellness Employer program, can lend credibility to your program.


The best wellness programs target your entire employee population, not just those at risk or those already interested in wellness. Using a population health management approach with a combination of online resources, personal attention, and an onsite presence, where appropriate, ensures that your implementation attracts a wide range of employees. Areas of focus often include nutrition, physical activity, stress, smoking, productivity, mental and emotional health, and financial wellness.


There are many ways to measure success. The metrics you choose to monitor will depend on your organization's unique goals and objectives. Once you set goals, regular reporting of your key performance indicators to your program's stakeholders can help you adjust and work toward achieving the desired outcomes. Learn more about which KPIs to measure in our Best Practice Brief.

Helping your employees improve their health and wellness takes a comprehensive approach that includes more than just occasional lunch and learns. At Wellness Workdays, we provide strategic direction and the tools you need to experience the best of employee wellness programs. With your guidance, we can help your organization achieve the outcomes you expect with our strategic approach. Whether your goals relate to cost containment, return on investment (ROI), the value on investment (VOI), absenteeism, employee recruitment and/or retention, we can bring best practices and a research-based approach to help you help your organization. Contact us to learn more.



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