What is a Wellness Program?

These programs are excellent for improving the well-being and productivity of your employees. Additionally, if your employees are healthy, they’re less likely to be absent from work, helping you reduce your overall business costs.

While health and wellness programs offer a lot of benefits, starting one of these programs can feel overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll go over how to create a health & wellness program for your business.

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Conduct an Assessment

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Creating a healthier workforce starts with assessing your employees’ current health levels. This will enable you to design a program that meets your workforce’s needs.

To conduct an assessment, you’ll need to:

  • Conduct an employee survey: Directly surveying employees will help you assess the current climate of your workplace, and it’ll help you figure out how this type of program might be received by others.
  • Conduct a health risk assessment: Assessing the health of your workforce will help you decide which types of programs to implement. However, we recommend consulting with legal counseling before proceeding with this step, as there are several laws surrounding health risk assessment surveys.
  • Conduct an organizational assessment: Organizational assessments help you determine the types of wellness programs to offer, as not all programs can be supported or used by any kind of workplace.
  • Review utilization rates of group health plans: You can look up this information through your group health insurance carrier or a third-party administrator.
  • Conduct an environmental assessment: An environmental assessment will help you understand workplace culture and how it impacts employee wellness behavior.

Obtain Support from Management

Obtaining support from management is crucial to building a successful employee health and wellness program.

Not only is management buy-in critical for funding purposes, but it’ll also help you garner support for the program throughout the entire organization and get policies and processes approved related to the program. Plus, management can help you establish the link between health promotion objectives and business outcomes. This way, you can position the wellness program as a fundamental component of your organization.

To obtain management support, you’ll need to do an excellent job of communicating the potential value of a wellness program to your company’s bottom line. To do this, consider your organization’s short and long-term priorities and how a health and wellness program fits into those priorities.

Put Together a Wellness Committee

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After conducting assessments and obtaining management support, it’s time to put together a wellness committee. This is an internal employee committee that will help you build organizational support and launch the program.

The wellness committee will be responsible for:

  • Evaluating current programs, policies, and services available in the workplace
  • Developing a health and wellness operating plan, including a mission statement, goals, and objectives
  • Assessing your employees’ needs and preferences
  • Assisting in monitoring and evaluating wellness activities

Employers should ask for committee volunteers and ensure there is company-wide representation.

Related: Spa Week: Promoting Wellness

Establish Goals and Objectives

You can use the information from your assessments to establish goals and objectives for the program. For most organizations, the primary goal is to improve the health of their workforce and reduce healthcare costs.

Other goals may be to improve workplace productivity, increase retention, and reduce absenteeism. You should write your goals in a transparent manner, with time limits and data points so you can quickly determine if they’ve been achieved.

For example, one goal could be to “reduce the number of obese employees by 5% by the year 2026.”

Create a Budget

In addition to establishing goals and objectives, you also need to develop a budget to ensure you have the proper funding for your wellness program. Include the following costs:

  • Marketing costs
  • Incentive costs (i.e., costs for rewarding employees for reaching goals)
  • Vendor screening costs
  • HR reps/committee member time cost
  • Costs of equipment like exercise or fitness trackers

You can also possibly reduce costs by:

  • Conducting surveys to see if employees are willing to pay for aspects of the wellness program (such as exercise classes)
  • Speaking with your health insurance carrier to see if they offer any wellness components
  • Researching free community programs or resources to supplement your program

Design the Program and Selective Incentives

Once you’ve taken care of all of the above, it’s time to design your health and wellness program and select incentives.

You have a high level of flexibility when designing the wellness program. Examples of common types of programs include:

  • Weight loss programs
  • Stress reduction programs
  • Exercise programs
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Nutritional education programs

Once you’ve designed the program, you can set up a reward system. For example, employees could earn points for reaching specific goals and then exchange these points for small gifts, such as Spa & Wellness Fift Cards.

Related: Click here to see Spa Week’s digital gift cards!

Communicate the Program and Evaluate Progress

Next, you need to write out and communicate your health and wellness policy. Include the following information in the policy:

  • Level of commitment for employees
  • Your organization’s intent
  • Rewards and incentives available

Also, make sure you find an attention-grabbing way to roll out the program. We suggest scheduling a company-wide meeting and then sending out a follow-up email with the main highlights.

Once the program is up and running, make sure you’re evaluating its success from time to time. You can do this through surveys, statistics, and various measurement tools.


Getting a health and wellness program up and running can take some work, but it’s well worth it for the well-being of your company and employees.

Click here to connect with Spa Week Media and learn how we can help with your wellness program!