Creating your wellness program: (4)Making a Plan

Now we get to the meat and potatoes of creating your program! After surveying your population, it’s time to get those wellness ambassadors back together. In your planning meeting, you will review your surveys, decide what the focus of your program will be best for your population, brainstorm activities, make a schedule and decide on metrics for evaluation upon program completion. This may be a longer meeting time, so plan accordingly.

During this process you will ask yourself these questions: What do our employees need? (according to your survey) What will our focus be? What do our employees want and when? (according to your survey) How will we communicate with the participants? Will the program have a specific brand? If so, who will compile marketing materials, etc? Will we have a wellness newsletter? What kind of incentives can we offer? How will we track participation, progress and goals? Who is going to be responsible for various deliverables?

Image result for office yoga class

Communication options can include Emails, regular mail, website , company newsletter articles (paper/online), digital signage, small group meetings, manager-to-employee meetings, bulletin boards, onsite seminars/online learning modules, health fair, tables/kiosks, stairway bulletin boards, bathroom stalls, lunch room communication boards, wallet cards, payroll statement stuffers, specialized trinkets (i.e., mouse pads), etc. There is a huge variety of activities you could include in your program. Lunch and learns, fitness classes like boot camp or chair yoga, ergonomic desk fittings, educational videos, weight loss challenges, step challenges, healthy snack campaigns and stress management classes are just a few ideas. Feel free to get creative. When running programs, I like to keep comment boxes or an electronic “comment box” for employees to share their ideas and provide feedback about the activities.

After deciding on your activities, make a calendar. I typically make one for the year with monthly and quarterly messages. Search the internet for monthly themes. For example, February is Heart month so we focus on cardio exercises, March is national nutrition month, May is mental health awareness month, good for stress management and yoga classes. Schedule changes are inevitable, but having a plan and being prepared to adapt usually works best. It also gives you more time to prepare the activities and communicate them to employees in advance.

Hopefully this has given you a good place to get started. Keep an eye out for more articles to come about communication, program ideas and evaluation. Let me know how your planning meeting goes. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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