How to Plan More Successful Wellness Programs

Staff Editor

Your brand’s wellness programs can lay the foundation for employee happiness. Program participants show less absenteeism, report greater overall wellness, and notice the impact on employee productivity. However, encouraging healthy behavior isn’t enough. A workplace wellness program needs to find ways to engage the employees in challenging, exciting ways.

From adding incentives to an employee wellness program to providing biometric screenings and health risk assessments, there are ways to bring wellness into the worksite in a smarter way. Whether you’re a large employer or a small business, here’s how to get the most out of an employee wellness program.

Find the right incentives.


Let’s be realistic: Few people want to spend more time involved in work than needed. To start, your wellness program shouldn’t require extra time at the worksite, especially if you’re working on instilling healthy behaviors. Many large employers see success with programs beyond the worksite and promote regular health behaviors and habits. However, it’s getting someone to sign up for one of these programs that’s often the issue. With any wellness program, you’re liable to see several nonparticipants. In some cases, nonparticipants can lower morale and reduce added employee participation.

While you shouldn’t make participation mandatory, you should consider ways to convert nonparticipants. This includes smart incentives. For nonparticipants, you can consider incentives on an individual level or by departments. Incentives may be financial incentives, gift cards, wearable technology, and more. It’s a great way to get employees to sign up for such programs and improve their success rates.

Consider a comprehensive workplace wellness program.

Most workplace wellness programs have a limited focus. Workplace wellness programs should cover multiple topics, encourage behavior change, and help employees identify health risks. Wellness programs can have a significant effect on program participants and even their health outcomes. Instead of setting up a wellness program that focuses on increased physical activity for a financial incentive or a regular wellness activity, consider a more holistic approach to employee health. Set up small sessions that can teach employees more about a healthy lifestyle and common health risks like chronic disease, high blood pressure, and unhealthy behaviors.

Encourage healthier behavior and offer comprehensive perks to your workplace wellness efforts. These can include screening for risk factors, biometric screening for employee health, meetings with dietitians, and days when employees can get flu shots in the office. While this is easier for large firms and larger employers, smaller brands can still leverage add-ons that include all team members and spouses. It’s a smarter way to achieve a greater program effect.

Try a different type of wellness program.


A successful wellness program doesn’t have to be the only wellness program you try. You can set up a mental health wellness program, a wellness program to increase productivity or a wellness activity that focuses on weight loss. You can include wellness activities that address the employee’s quality of life. This can help you develop a healthy workplace that can boast high employee morale. It doesn’t hurt to experiment and note what does and doesn’t work. Maybe your workshop on heart disease wasn’t a hit, but your wellness activity about health insurance premiums attracted many team members. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk about heart disease again. It simply means that you need to approach heart disease differently.

Successful wellness programs depend on a strong human services department interested in different ways to improve worker productivity and employee health behavior. If you want to start up a successful program, you should consider your medical spending budget and look into some training. It can help you develop health assessments and classes that are a hit in the office.