Health Wellness Program
Health wellness programs are increasingly being incorporated by Companies as part of their overall strategy for promoting a healthier workplace. A health wellness program is set up in the workplace to offer employees a kind of comprehensive health service.
Health wellness programs are a new concept and different from the traditional safety and health programs in that a health wellness program does not require a legislative mandate. Whether you are the CEO of a company wanting to retain your employees or a Human Resources professional concerned about your employees rising health care costs, attention to a few points about initiating and implementing a health wellness program can help to ensure its long-term success.
The most important step to implementing a health wellness program is to gain support from the staff as well as senior management for the idea. Develop the objectives, goals and mission of the program and conduct a survey among the employees to ascertain how many of them would participate and what they hope to gain from this health wellness program.
Locate funding and resources to support the program and recruit outside as well as inside help to run and maintain the health wellness program. Design and implement health related activities and make policy changes with a view to improving the environmental conditions.
Make the program fun and motivate your employees with various incentives. Regularly monitor and evaluate the program and make the necessary improvements and changes.
For a health wellness program to be successful, a wellness committee should be appointed. This wellness committee works towards planning, promoting, operating and maintaining the program. The wellness committee should be made up of individuals who would be helpful to the program as well as those who will be affected by the program.
Ideally the wellness committee would consist of a mix of union representatives, top management and employees interested in wellness and health. Individuals from the Human Resources department, health and safety department and employee assistance program may also be considered.
Another important element necessary for a successful health wellness program is management support. Management should support the program by being involved in the planning, participating in wellness events, reserving funds for the program and supporting the budget and time allotted towards this wellness program.
The management may also show their support of the health wellness program by sending out a letter of support to all employees and allowing flexibility in employee schedules to encourage participation without any inconvenience.
Last but not least, conduct a formal or informal needs assessment survey among employees to increase participation in the health wellness program. This gives employees a sense of responsibility and ownership for the program, and also gives them the necessary encouragement to participate.
Assessing their needs allows you to design a plan suited to the employees ensuring their continued support and participation. Employees are encouraged to lead a more healthy lifestyle, which is beneficial to them and their families in the long run.