Whether you are just beginning a program or wanting to revisit your progress, there are seven key steps to follow to help you along the way! And we’re happy to help you on your journey.

Please complete the 2019 Menu of Services to request:

  • Consultation support
  • The Wellness at Work – A Guide to Building a Healthy Workplace resource (found under the Ready-To-Use Programs section).

Seven Steps to Starting a Workplace Wellness Program

Step One: Obtain Organizational Commitment

  • It is crucial for all levels of the organization to be supportivePicture of people in an office setting
  • Senior management commitment should be visible, ongoing and participatory
  • Draft and sign a letter of understanding with senior management
  • Obtain senior management commitment by making the ‘case’ for workplace wellness
    • It is important to tailor the approach (should be relevant to your management)

Step Two: Form a Wellness Committee

  • A group needs to lead the initiative, one person should not undertake this task
  • It could involve an existing group (example is a health and safety committee) or be new
  • Members should:
    • Have an interest in workplace wellness (act as champions)
    • Include representation from all levels and departments (including management)
  • Start by identifying strengths and challenges that exist in the workplace
  • Develop a document that includes guiding principals and a wellness vision (example terms of reference)

Step Three: Gather Data

  • Base your wellness plans on the needs and interests of the employees
  • Collect current data to help plan the future
  • Collect data from primary sources (employees themselves) through:
    • Focus groups (small group)
    • Suggestion boxes
    • Staff meetings (large group)
    • Surveys
  • Also consider secondary sources (human resource data):
    • Absenteeism, turnover and retention rates, benefits usage, grievances, Short and Long Term Disability
    • Plan on repeating data collection every two to three years

Step Four: Develop a Wellness Plan

  • Consider disseminating the results from the data collection to all employees
  • Use the results to guide the planning
  • Be sure to include evaluation and monitoring (see step seven for details)
  • Create the plan with all committee members
    • Identify priorities, critical issues and program objectives
    • Think about timing, promotion, and how success will be tracked
    • Keep the plan confidential until appropriate approval has been obtained
  • Focus on these four areas:
    • Awareness Building:
      • Tell employees there is a risk of X
      • examples – bulletin boards, in-house newsletters, pay inserts, pamphlets, posters
    • Education and Skill Building:
      • Teach employees ways to deal with X
      • examples – lunch’n learns, classes, workshops, training sessions
    • Environmental Support:
      • Create an environment that makes it easier to deal with X
      • examples – showers on-site, nutritional options in vending machines, bike racks, walking trails
    • Policy Development:
      • Develop policies that reduce the risk or encourage employees to deal with X
      • examples – flex time, healthy foods at meetings, smoking, performance appraisals

Step Five: Get Management Support for the Plan

  • Present the plan to management and ensure their buy-in and support
  • Does a budget need to be approved?
  • Keep the plan confidential until approval has been obtained

Step Six: Implement the Plan

  • Use the wellness plan to guide this process
  • Be creative with ideas for getting employees involved (example offer incentives)

Step Seven: Evaluate

  • Evaluation is the measure of success
  • Evaluation should not be an ‘after-thought’ but rather intertwined in the process
  • Two types:
    • Process (measures how things are going)
      • Attendance
      • Participant and instructor forms
      • Participant demographics
    • Outcome – measures effect or impact
      • Did knowledge increase?
      • Did attitudes or behaviour change?
      • Did absenteeism, injury rates or lost time change?