Some companies struggle to get their wellness programs off the ground while others are receiving the Healthiest Employer's award before you know it. What gives? The truth is, the companies that are successful are doing three paramount things right! Let's face it, even if you have a contracted company providing your wellness, you still have some responsibility for its success! As a matter of fact, you have a lot of responsibility! If your company doesn't have these three key components, you may risk a failing wellness program.
1. If you don't have a communication plan. You can't launch a wellness program and then forget about it. First of all, you have turnover (unless you are Zappos) therefore you must communicate your wellness program to your new employees. But even more importantly, you must communicate to your current employees, a lot. Only a small percent of your employees will likely jump on the wellness wagon the first day the program is launched, even though the excitement is high. So, every day after the launch the intention to sign up gets pushed aside until it is long forgotten. Additionally, some people are not ready. But if they are often reminded that the program is available eventually they will get on board. So, the moral of the story is, have a structured ongoing communication plan. It might be a combination of monthly emails, screensavers, fliers, and video messages from your executive team. Whatever your communication plan is, make sure it is clear, concise, and frequent!
2. If your executive team doesn't walk the talk. This doesn't mean your executive team has to be Olympic athletes; it means they must be engaged in the program, are visibly participating, and help to communicate the importance of it. If the executive team doesn't set an example that taking care of their own health is important, it may be a little difficult for the employees to believe in the importance of their wellness program. Or even worse, they feel that it is frowned upon to take a full hours lunch and go for a run or hit the gym. "My boss doesn't do it, so I probably shouldn't either."
3. If you don't have a wellness champion. For instance, if the person leading your wellness program (or your program administrator) looks at wellness as more work added to his or her plate that he or she is not getting paid for, it is not going to work. You need someone who has a passion for your program and will act as a wellness champion for the rest of the employees. This person will naturally take the lead and genuinely enjoy doing it. Make sure your wellness champion is supported in his or her efforts by making sure they have time to dedicate to the program and the ability to communicate to the staff.
Does your company have what it takes to have a successful wellness program?