Implement & Evaluate Wellness Program

     Finally the time arrives to put the plan into action!  This may involve inviting guest health and wellness speakers to your participants, contacting wellness vendors, negotiating with health plans or clubs, scheduling wellness activities and more!  It is time to be excited and start your program off with positive energy and bang!  Be careful though, it is important to start off slow and lead off with those activities that the committee agrees are most likely to succeed.  The whole wellness committee and management of all levels will need to be included in the implementation in more than just attending monthly meetings.

Rules of Thumb for Implementing your Program:

1)Positive energy and Belief in the Program is Contagious!
    - The employees need to see management and supervisors participating through action.  This could be through appearances at planned activities, eating healthier, exercising more and most importantly by communicating excitement for the program in conversations, emails and letters.

2)  Start off Slow with Activities Most Likely to Succeed
     - The time for the unique, smaller focused plans will come once the program has gained some speed but to get the ball rolling start off with programs that will adhere to the needs and interests of the masses and gain some popularity first.  Think of it as a snowball effect - start off small and gain you'll gain more size and speed as you go! 

3) Create a Supportive Environment
     - The reason worksite wellness programs are so successful are because they derive from a controlled environment in which participants are forced to be spend a lot of time in.  Use this to your advantage!  Offer healthier food choices, create eye-catching and exciting health and wellness bulletin boards, clear a space for stretching and simple exercise and promote healthier lifestyles in the workplace environment!

One last step... Evaluation.

     The difference between an efficient and effective wellness program and poor program lies in the evaluation of it.  Periodic evaluations are necessary to measure success and ensure the program achieves the goals it was designed to meet.  Evaluations allow the company to celebrate the goals and achievements that have been attained and to discontinue or change ineffective activities. Such evaluations will compare program costs and outcomes to determine occasional measures that need to be taken to lead to success.  If done right they will also easily show the return-on-investment of the program (especially after year two or three of implementation), increases in employee morale, relations and productivity, as well as decreases in absenteeism, presenteesim and healthcare costs.

Well-designed evaluations achieve two things:
1) Process measures
     - How well the program is working
2)Outcome Measures
     - Whether or not it is achieving expected results

Click here to see worksite wellness program resources, examples & samples!