10 Ideas for Starting a Corporate Wellness Program in a Small Business
Jul 31, 2010
To help smaller employers implement successful health promoting activities the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) came up with 10 simple ideas that will help small businesses encourage healthy behaviors among their employees and reduce their healthcare costs.
1. Issue a Letter of Support from the CEO or President: Many companies are not able to communicate to their employees that the idea of wellness is a top concern of the CEO or President. Having the key officer issue a letter stating this fact will make the employees aware of the new wellness plan.
2. Appoint a Wellness Leader of the Company: The wellness leader must be able to navigate through all departments and have the blessing and the support of the CEO or President of the company, in order to have meaningful results.
3. Conduct a Survey of Employees to Learn of Their Health Interests: It is vital to any wellness program to conduct a survey of the employees to learn of their health interests and concerns. By doing so, the company will get to know the specific programs their employees are interested in and design their program around it.
4. Administer a Health Test: This is a great idea of wellness programs that enables the employees of companies to assess and to understand their individual health conditions. It will also to help establish a baseline for improvements.
5. Run a Yearly Physical Activity Campaign: To have healthier employees it is important to keep them on the move. A great idea of any small businesses practicing wellness programs is to keep their employees active is by conducting physical activity campaigns each year.
These campaigns create a sequence of challenges offering incentives to employees who participate in them and on participating in these challenges the number of hours in a day that employees remain active increase. Start small and try to build up to company-sponsored participation in 5K, 10K, marathons and even Ironman competitions to really push your employees. Dress your employees in imprinted t-shirts and make a statement at these races that can be built upon each year.
6. Organize Educational Cooking and Eating Seminars: Another way that small businesses can improve their wellness programs is to improve the eating habits of employees. One way is to conduct cooking and eating seminars that their employees can participate in. A good local chef in the seminar can educate employees on how to prepare healthy food to fit any budget.
7. Establish a Library on the Premises: As good health is founded on sound knowledge, businesses should ensure that their employees have access to a well-stocked library of wellness and fitness books, magazines and other resources, which should be available to all employees on their premises.
8. Distribute a Monthly Health Newsletter: Another effective idea is to produce and distribute a monthly newsletter offering good health tips and covering various health related topics. A local hospital or your insurance company may even be able you to produce these informative newsletters.
9. Implement Policies That Promote Better Health: As policies of companies have a great impact on the health of their employees, it is important to show management’s commitment in providing healthy and safe workplaces by including healthy policies in their standard business procedures.
10. Promote Community Events and Health Fairs: Another great idea of small businesses to encourage healthier behaviors is by promoting community events like heath fairs and educational round tables that are communicated to their employees. Encourage participation and attendance at these events by offering prizes and having family entertainment.
Following these ideas can help jump start the wellness programs of any small business, and lead to a healthier and more productive workforce.
The first step of any new wellness plan is the first step. When will you take it?