How to Start an Employee Wellness Program

How to Start an Employee Wellness ProgramSpring is here and everyone is ready to be outdoors and active again after being cooped up inside for the winter. No doubt your employees are starting to talk about diets and exercise and getting ready for summer.

This makes now the perfect time to start an employee wellness program. Next month is Employee Health & Fitness month, so getting started now will put you and your company ahead of the game.

Employee wellness programs can be great for morale, great for employee health and great for the financial health of your business. According to The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism   92% of companies with a wellness program in place have found them to be effective in reducing sick days, health costs and workers’ compensation and disability claims with a savings-to-cost ratio of nearly $6 to $1.

So, how do you get started with an employee wellness program?

Here are seven steps to help you start an employee wellness program at your company.

Gain Management Support

The key to a successful program is that everyone supports it from the top down. Get your managers on board and participating in the program from the very beginning. Help them to communicate the goals and benefits of your program clearly and often. And make sure you are giving your team sufficient time and resources to implement a wellness program.

Designate a Program Coordinator and Assemble Your Team

You need to identify a wellness coordinator to manage the program. Though they will need to delegate some responsibilities to their team, it is important to have one person—the right person—coordinating efforts and keeping the program on track. This person will need to have enough time to administer the program and not just “squeeze it in” when they have time. If you don’t have or can’t spare an in-house coordinator, consider contracting with an outside coordinator. Your insurance carrier may provide this service or be able to refer you.

Analyze Your Needs

Complete a worksite assessment and conduct an employee interest survey to learn what topics and concerns are of most interest to your staff. Knowing what your employees need and want will allow you to customize a program to your workplace and increase your chances for success.

Develop an Action Plan

With your survey results in mind, create specific measurable goals and objectives for your company, along with strategies to meet these objectives, a timeline a budget and an evaluation plan. If your goals and your plan are clearly identified, it will be much easier to evaluate the effectiveness of your program.

Invest in the Plan

Building a successful employee wellness program requires both time and money. The Wellness Council of America estimates the cost per employee to be between $100 and $150 per year for an effective wellness program that produces a return on investment of $300 to $450.

Implement and Communicate the Program and its Benefits

You need an effective communication strategy to put your program into practice and encourage participation. Be sure to include plenty of education so employees understand why you’re implementing a wellness program, and the benefits they can gain from participating. Help employees to understand that this plan is intended to help improve their health and quality of life and not just your bottom line.

Evaluate Your Program

Periodically review the program goals and review measurable outcomes and results. Keep your employees involved in the evaluation process, and make sure they feel the program is benefitting them. Adjust your programs—and even your goals, if needed—based on the evaluation results and employee feedback.


A success employee wellness program requires planning, effort, investment and communication. Still not sure where to start? Roper Insurance provides its clients with free program materials and information for employee health and wellness programs. If you’re a client who needs help, call us today so we can get you started. Not a Roper client and need some help with employee wellness? Call Roper Insurance today or use the handy contact form here. Let us show you all the benefits of being a Roper client, including employee health and wellness.