Five Questions to Ask When Planning Wellness Programs

Previously, I’ve spoken about the importance of creating a culture of wellness at work. The type of wellness programs you select and implement for your workforce is an important part of that culture. When designing a wellness plan for employees, some of you may be wondering, “Where do I even start?”

Instead of going straight to vendors to see what they have to offer, begin by asking yourself these five crucial questions.

1. What are we doing today?
What is being done now to ensure well-being at your organization? What have you already accomplished? Review the programs you have in place. With the next four considerations, ask yourself how much your existing programs are meeting expectations. Also, think about how these programs have been promoted within the organization, and how much you would like to improve or maintain employee engagement with those programs.

2. What do our employees need?
One of the most important ways to prepare for a strategy is to gather valuable feedback from employees. Use surveys and focus groups to learn from them what they would like to get from their programs.

In addition, think about whether the program
Can be engaged by employees at different work sites, as well as those who travel frequently or work at home
Comes with promotion and communications support
Accommodates a wide range of physical abilities, ages, and lifestyle differences
Can be extended to family household members – because well-being isn’t just a workplace concern

3. How do these programs align with our organization’s values?
When designing a formal wellness plan, tie in wellness goals with the organization’s mission statement and values. Business priorities (e.g., sales goals, profit margin targets, higher employee retention) can be supported by goals achieved in wellness programs. Setting goals in this manner may help clarify how wellness can be of great value to the organization, particularly to leaders and decision makers.

4. How are we measuring success?
Think about the goals you want to achieve with your wellness programs. Then, consider what metrics you are using to track the progress of your programs. At Humana, one of our main goals for our employees is to increase their Healthy Days. It’s a way to track both the physical and mental well-being of not just our employees, but also the communities we serve. Depending on your goals, you could be tracking trends in healthcare claims costs, the number of sick days vs. scheduled leave, or employee engagement and retention rates.

5. Are we addressing all dimensions of well-being?
More and more employers recognize that financial and emotional well-being can be just as important as physical activity and nutrition. Because stress is such a major driver of poor well-being and unhealthy behaviors, look to programs that offer solutions that can go beyond the physical. More comprehensive wellness programs offer apps, workshops, modules, and challenges related to financial, social, emotional, and mental well-being.

With these five considerations, you could shape a wellness strategy that earns leadership buy-in, supports broader organizational goals, and helps employees become healthier and more productive. For more ideas and guidance about wellness programming, visit

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.
August 14th, 2017 7:06pm