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How to Design and Run an Employee Wellness Program

Pawan Kumar
How to Design and Run an Employee Wellness Program

If you implement wellness programs properly, it provides a significant return for a business.

Johnson & Johnson has stated that their wellness program has saved the organization $250 million over a six-year period, resulting in a wellness program ROI of $2.71 for each dollar invested!

Sure, this stat sounds good. But how do your design and run a successful employee wellness program?

Here are some steps to establishing and designing a workplace wellness program:

Conduct an employee survey

Doing an internal survey is a great way to determine what kind of things your employees want and would value. You can ask questions like:

“What are your health goals?”

“Do you think conducting wellness programs during office hours is helpful?”

“Do you feel that we could do more to support you with your physical and mental health? If so, how?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance on designing an employee survey, including examples of survey topic areas.

Leadership Support

Here’s a harsh truth: Your employee wellness program will not work without support from the leadership team.

It takes time, money, and resources to build and launch a successful employee wellness program. And leadership buy-in is critical for funding purposes, for guidance, for getting support throughout the organization, and for approving program policies and processes.

Appoint Wellbeing Champions

The next step is, creating an internal well-being champions team to lead your program and build a wellness culture in the organization.

Make sure that management sets clear and measurable objectives and supports them with a budget. Here are some responsibilities of the wellness champions’ team:

  • Evaluating the current workplace programs and policies
  • Assessing employee needs and preferences
  • Developing a wellness program plan and process (which includes a vision statement, goals, objectives, and activities) 
  • Monitoring and evaluating the wellness program

Establish a budget

It’s a critical step. Without a sufficient budget, the program will stall. While creating a wellness budget, include the cost of incentives or rewards, activities cost, marketing, and program design cost.

Decide wellness program incentives and rewards

Incentives or rewards are effective tools to increase participation rates and encourage individuals to complete a program. You can offer reward points that can be exchanged for shopping, gifts, food, or monetary awards.

Employee recognition and rewards platform automates the process of creating, promoting, and incentivizing your employees.


It’s time to write and communicate the organization’s wellness policy. Well-executed wellness programs require exceptional employee communications. You can create a dedicated wellness program webpage, signage, and posters in the office. 

Or create a document with all the information and send it to your company-wide Slack channel. Also, appoint a dedicated team to answer any questions or concerns your employees may have.

Keep posting new program updates in the Slack channel, company-wide newsletter, and emails.

Evaluating the results of the program

Did employee health improve? Are your employees more or less happy in the office? What’s the program participation rate? Program completion rates? Healthcare cost reduction?

Evaluating the results of your employee wellness program can answer all your questions. It’s the only way to determine if it’s working or not and understand what you can do to improve the results.

Pawan Kumar
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