Effective Wellness Program Strategies
Evaluation of successful Employee Wellness Programs and unsuccessful wellness programs has revealed several key strategies that will increase the overall effectiveness and impact employee health. We hope that this article will be of assistance in your efforts to design, maintain and/or improve your health promotion efforts. The strategies listed here are designed to be beneficial for public and private health promotion and wellness program endeavors.
Wellness Program Strategy #1: Leadership communication is critical
- Assess leadership priorities.
- Report outcomes back to leadership in a timely manner.
Wellness Program Strategy #2: Planning must be data-driven.
- Determine specific needs of the target population.
- Focus on the health status of the population as a whole to establish the top health concerns.
- Information should drive decisions regarding which health/wellness needs should be addressed first.
Wellness Program Strategy #3: Use electronic data collection and reporting as often as possible.
- Centrally collected data in an electronic format is fundamental for determining population health/wellness needs.
- Electronic reporting is also very valuable when communicating outcomes to leadership and other stakeholders.
- Flexible reporting capabilities allow data to be presented as information that can support decision-making, in formats that decision-makers prefer.
Wellness Program Strategy #4: Multi-disciplinary collaboration enhances employee health and maximizes available resources.
- Collaboration between health disciplines increases effectiveness of preventive medicine initiatives.
- Don’t forget to look outside the business for collaboration partners.
- Optimized Employee Wellness Program outcomes can be achieved by coordinating the activities of medical professionals, community agencies, and funding sources.
- Bundling services together also provides the additional benefit to units by conserving training and mission time.
Wellness Program Strategy #5: Using a small number of targeted priorities maintains focus.
- Needs assessment data can be used to establish leading health/wellness needs and also high risk populations.
- Choosing a handful of specific health/wellness needs on which to focus will maximize efficient use of resources.
- Keeping the focus small will avoid duplication of other ongoing company initiatives.
Wellness Program Strategy #6: Use standardized processes whenever possible.
Reduce the amount of variation within your initiatives by standardizing all the processes needed for planning and implementation. By way of example:
- Use the same spreadsheet format for data collection so that the columns are in the same order. This way you can compare data more easily.
- Reuse the same forms for enrollment and attendance. Change the heading as needed.
- Look at other wellness program processes (like registration, evaluation, marketing, etc.). What parts of those processes can be standardized?
Wellness Program Strategy #7: Delivery methods should be flexible and adapted to population needs.
- Delivery of products and services may depend on: company needs, training requirements, other scheduling considerations (such as work/duty schedules, school scheduling, etc.), participant preference, and/or availability of staff or space.
- Be flexible: the same produce/service delivery methods may not work for every population.
- Some company's may want services provided to them as close as possible to the company location; other companies may prefer as many services as possible bundled together at once (regardless of location).
- Take wellness and preventive medicine beyond the walls of the business in order to meet leadership and employee needs. Answer the question: “How can we best help leadership and Employees to fulfill their mission?”
Implementing these strategies can improve the effectiveness of your employee wellness program and optimize available resources. It's definitely worthwhile to take time in selecting the health promotion strategies you utilize. To do otherwise would only lead to higher costs and ineffective programming. Click the following to request free wellness program quotes.