A wellness plan is a sequence of steps that promotes personal well-being at work. Think of it as a plan of action that covers several components of employee wellness — healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, improved mental health, etc. More than 60 percent of employers said wellness plans reduced health care costs in their organization, while 73 percent now offer these programs in the workplace. Here's how to implement a successful wellness plan of your very own.
1. Carry Out an Organizational Assessment
Before you go any further, discover where a wellness plan would fit into your current organizational structure. Then, talk to other members of your management team and outline all the benefits of employee well-being. These benefits might include increased productivity and improved employee morale.
If you have never created a wellness plan before, do your research. Incorporating a wellness program into your organization might be difficult at first, especially if your employees are resistant to change. Ask your staff what they would like to see in your plan and whether they would benefit from a well-being program.
The Well-Being Index is a great online assessment tool to determine the current state of well-being within your organization.
2. Find Out What a Wellness Plan Can Really Do For Your Organization
Research shows that organizations who use wellness plans experience 25 percent lower health plan, sick leave, workers' compensation and disability insurance costs than those who don't. Moreover, companies with wellness programs have average annual health care cost increases of just 1-2 percent — significantly less than the seven percent national average. Promising statistics like these prove that creating a wellness plan of your own is a worthwhile investment.
3. Decide How You Are Going to Distribute Your Wellness Plan
Typically, employers print out a wellness plan and hand it out to staff or display it in a communal area. However, with the influx of new technologies in recent years, you can distribute your wellness plan via various digital platforms. Why not post your plan on your staff intranet pages, for example? Or email your plan to staff? Not only will this save you money on printing costs, but you could improve staff engagement in the process.
Then there's social media. Uploading your plan to your Facebook or Instagram page might sound a little unorthodox, but more of your staff might get involved with your wellness program. More than one billion people regularly check Facebook, for example, making it the perfect platform to expose your wellness plan to a large group.
4. Use the Well-Being Index to Create Your Plan
The Well-Being Index, invented by the Mayo Clinic, is an interactive tool that measures employee well-being. The online test consists of nine simple questions and identifies burnout and stress in your employees. You can use the information gathered from this test to create your wellness plan. If your employees show symptoms of distress, for example, include activities that combat stress and depression in your plan.
5. Create the First Draft of Your Wellness Plan
Before you roll out your wellness plan, create a first draft and ask a few of your employees for feedback. This will lead to the successful implementation of your wellness program. It's important that your staff feel comfortable with your plan, so make changes if necessary. Once you have created the final draft, promote your wellness plan at staff meetings.
Wellness programs encourage healthy habits among your staff. Still, most organizations don't know to implement wellness plans properly. Follow the five steps above to create a plan that provides you with a return on your investment.