My Health Wellness program is based on Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) methodology. WELCOA’s Well Workplace methodology has been adopted by more than 1,000 companies across the U.S. in the last 20 years. It consists of seven key steps that proved to be successfull over the years.
Capturing CEO Support
CEO support is essential to the process of developing best-in-class programs.
Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams
Once CEO support has been captured, the next task is to create a cohesive wellness team (committee). Teams are essential to building great wellness programs because they help to distribute the responsibility for wellness throughout the organization.
Collecting Data To Drive Health Efforts
The team’s first and primary responsibility is not to start offering programs, but rather to step back and gather important data. The data will be collected using corporate culture audits, health risk appraisals, and knowledge and interest surveys. This data is extremely important because it will reveal the specific areas of health needs and interests within the organization.
Carefully Crafting An Operating Plan
With essential forms of data having been collected, the task is now to develop an operating plan for health and wellness within the organization. This operating plan will serve as the roadmap and will guide the company’s efforts and investments in workplace wellness.
Choosing Appropriate Interventions (Workplace Campaigns)
With the first four steps completed, it is now appropriate to begin choosing and implementing the appropriate health and productivity interventions. These interventions will most likely include physical activity, weight management, self-care, and stress management. But, they also may include things like fatigue management and ergonomics—depending on what the company’s data reveals.
Creating A Supportive Environment
Once the appropriate health promoting interventions are up and running, it’s time to create a supportive environment. Indeed, by having a supportive environment, organizations can be confident that employees will be supported in their efforts to lead healthier lives. Environmental interventions may take the form of policies, physical modifications, and rewards and incentives.
Carefully Evaluating Outcomes
The seventh and final step is carefully evaluating outcomes. It is within this step that companies will religiously keep score when it comes to their wellness program. Evaluation targets include things like participation, participant satisfaction, cost containment and ROI.
Evaluate the Program.
A good program evaluation is not an afterthought, but is built into the planning process and into the budget. Ideally, it looks at information to examine both how well the program is working (process measures) and whether or not it is achieving expected results (outcome measures).
Process measures, such as participation counts and participant evaluations of individual activities, answer many questions about the basic operation of the program.
- Were all activities implemented as planned? If not, why not?
- Who is using the program?
- Which activities are most popular?
- Did the program meet the participants’ needs?
- Are participants happy with class instructors, program materials, incentive choices, etc?
This information can be used to modify the program to enhance participation and participant satisfaction. Outcome measures, on the other hand, gauge the extent to which specific program goals have been achieved. Did the prevalence of employee smoking decrease
from 30% to 25% by the end of the fiscal year? Did it decrease at all? Did the number of employees who file disability claims because of lower back problems decline from an average of 3/month to an average of 1/month after health promotion activities were in place for 18 months?
Outcome data that demonstrate program success help to secure continued management support for the program. Outcome data that show program goals are not being achieved point to the need for changes.
Generally, if outcomes are not as expected, there are three possible causes.
1) The program was not implemented as planned (for example, no one participated).
2) The program was not well-designed to achieve the desired results (although it may have achieved other unintended positive results, such as improved employee morale).
3) Program goals were unrealistic given the resources available.
Whatever the reason(s), this information is valuable and can be used to ensure future program success.