Most people in the wellness and insurance industry would agree that healthy employees are good for business. And many human resources professionals struggle to get engagement from employees on their health benefits. An overarching health and wellness program could do a lot to increase employee wellness, and also drive them to be better consumers of healthcare.

The struggle is building a strategy to roll out—or improve an already existing—wellness program. Do you know what data points to look at to measure the effectiveness of your wellbeing strategy? How do you ensure that your program is appropriate for your employees?

Here are five things you can do to help build—and build upon—a wellness plan and develop a healthier workplace.

  1. Encourage employees to know their numbers. Whether you encourage employees to participate in on-site health screenings or see their primary care physician for an annual physical, empowering your employees to know where they stand with their biometrics is the first step in gaining insight on individual health status.
  2. Include employee wellbeing as one of your company’s core values or goals. At MJ our company mission is to “Inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person we serve.” This statement not only applies to how we treat clients, but how we treat our employees. We care about our associates’ health and wellness. Some examples of inspiring wellbeing within our culture include doing a ropes course and running/walking 5Ks as a team, hosting regular team hikes, providing healthy office snacks, promoting quarterly wellness challenges, and providing adjustable standing desks for all associates, just to name a few.
  3. Use data to drive your wellness strategy. Your program is only as good as how you measure its success. There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your wellness program including medical claims and utilization, turnover and absenteeism, employee surveys and feedback, vendor engagement data and health risk assessments.
  4. Promote health & wellness when appropriate. Hang wellness flyers in common places such as elevators, bathrooms, and breakrooms. Hold a weekly raffle for those who park at the furthest end of the parking lot or take the stairs. Encourage healthy lunches by providing take out menus for the healthiest options in the area or giving managers a larger budget for lunch meetings if they purchase a healthy option.
  5. Meet your employees where they are. Wellness programs are not always created equal. Send out an interest survey to gain insight on what your employees are most interested in. By gaining employee opinion, they will be more likely to participate. As a bonus, give unique ideas a shout out and give that contributor kudos. This will give that person positive affirmation and could potentially be a wellness champion in the making.