Planning Corporate Wellness Programs: Resource Availability Evaluation
The fiscal resources that are available will play an important part in the design and implementation of all Corporate Wellness Programs. If you will be operating with a limited budget, this could dictate the number and types of program activities that will be feasible to implement. Community resources are usually available to assist your program at no or low cost.
For example, it may be necessary for you to utilize existing community-based and non-profit organizations for pamphlets, posters, guest speakers, health fairs, and health screenings. You should also be familiar with and develop a listing of health-related organizations to use as a referral base for your employees who need their services.
If your organization is located in a building or office complex with other businesses, you may want to explore partnership opportunities or rotating responsibility for conducting wellness-related activities. For example, a health fair could be conducted by your organization and then the next year another business at your site could conduct the health fair.
When planning corporate wellness programs you need to take into consideration the work environment of your employees. Some of your employees may be in different locations (such as headquarters or field offices). It is recommended that you visit the various sites to learn about the facility and available resources. If visiting all sites is not possible, contact the office manager of each site to obtain the needed information.
Does your organization have conference rooms that you could schedule for a health promotion activity? Are the conference rooms large enough for the turnout you are expecting? Is it possible to have some activities scheduled at the cafeteria? The availability of overhead projectors, televisions, and VCRs are just some of the equipment that you may need to use when planning an event. You need to tailor the corporate wellness program to the specific site.
There may be special considerations that different locations will need. For example, if one of the other work sites does not have showers, you may not want to make a suggestion to do aerobics for a noon-time exercise. For program success, it will help to adapt a program to the surroundings. Keep in mind available community resources such as health clubs which may offer discounts, the local Gold’s Gym, or businesses that will provide fitness programs on-site.
Evaluate Employee Population
In order to ensure that employees respond to your corporate wellness program in a positive manner, you need to take into consideration that employees have different needs, values, and health concerns. Some key questions to ask are:
- What is the average age of your organization’s employees?
- What type of workers do you have? (ex: blue-collar, white collar, professional, or service)
- What are your employees interested in learning more about?
- When are they most likely to participate?
- Are they willing to spend personal time?
- Are they willing to share costs?
You need to realize that it is highly unlikely that you will be able to draw all of the employees in your organization into your program. It is important to remember that employees are pressed for time at work and at home. Pick a topic – such as nutrition and focus on this for a specified period of time.
An Employee Interest Survey can help steer your corporate wellness program in the right direction. Offering programs employees ask for in the interest surveys is definitely a good start to implementing a successful corporate wellness program. The interest survey is discussed here: Employee Wellness Interest Survey.