In a previous article, we discussed the important steps to take when implementing and launching a wellness program, such as effective communication.
While there are many things to consider when planning and implementing a corporate wellness program, there are five key pieces to keep in mind to help make it a successful launch:
- Establish Wellness Committee
- Designate Wellness Champions
- Incorporate Your Communications Plan
- Develop Campaigns Around Themes Throughout the Year
- Test Your Software Before Launch
In this article we will dive deeper into these five key steps to implementing a successful corporate wellness program, along with tips on how you can incorporate this into your corporate wellness program planning.
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5 Key Steps to Launching Your Employee Wellness Program
Step 1: Establish Wellness Committee
Bringing diverse voices together in a large organization is an important component of launching a successful employee wellness program. Each employee has a unique voice and opinion within the organization, and finding people to represent your diverse population is essential in understanding whether your wellness program will be effective for everyone it intends to serve.
Many organizations establish a wellness committee to help identify and evaluate potential wellness programs. When creating a committee, keep in mind that you want to encourage differences in opinion and ensure that they are working towards the good of all of your employees.
Once established, your wellness committee should own the entire early process around the wellness program: implementation, launch, and ongoing communications. The committee should have representatives from key areas of your company, and should be led by someone who fully understands and is passionate about the success of your wellness program.
Step 2: Designate Wellness Champions
Wellness Champions operate similarly to a wellness committee, except they are often individuals who are invested in the success of wellness initiatives across the organization. For large organizations with multiple locations, departments, or a segmented workforce, developing a strong community of wellness champions is vital to the success of any employee wellness program.
A wellness champion is usually someone who is highly engaged with wellness initiatives and is likely to help encourage and motivate others to be engaged as well. This is the key to many successful programs. Developing a grassroots upswell of engagement within an organization is proven to be more effective than top-down communication alone.
You may choose to designate these champions geographically, by department, or by some other metric. Your wellness committee should have regular contact with all your wellness champions. Creating an effective wellness champion team helps teams that are across many locations maintain a hands-on connection with the wellness program.
Take a look at your existing wellness offerings and those employees who are most likely to engage with that program. As you work to develop and launch your new wellness program, speak with those individuals and collect their feedback and ideas for how you can successfully roll out and communicate this new program within your organization.
Step 3: Incorporate Your Communications Plan
If you haven’t developed your communications plan for launch yet, you can check out our effective communication guide here.
Strong communications plans include a timed calendar for specific messaging, as well as consistent messaging planned throughout the year. The first touch point for new employees should be a brochure, announcement, or flier included during orientation. Future emails, events, meetings (virtual or in-person), and other communications should follow a structured plan to ensure they go out at regular intervals throughout the year.
Once you have your communications plan set, be sure to review it with your wellness committee and wellness champions. They will help you understand whether or not that communications plan will effectively reach everyone and achieve the result you are looking for during your launch phase. Be open and willing to take their feedback and incorporate it into your communications plan to ensure the most effective and successful corporate wellness program launch.
Step 4: Develop Campaigns Around Themes Throughout the Year
Keeping people engaged and excited about wellness programs takes consistent messaging and communication throughout the year. Programs that launch with a big communications blast quickly fizzle out if there isn’t consistent support and messaging continually through the year.
Successful wellness programs incorporate monthly or quarterly themes to keep messaging fresh and interesting to their organization. You can plan these themes around specific calendar events, like holidays, or more generally around seasons, like spring, fall, summer, and winter. You can also tie them to corporate events and initiatives to help make the messaging consistent.
It’s important to have your full campaign plan and themes mapped out before you start (and refreshed each year) so employees can plan ahead for what’s coming and how they can participate. Want to receive a copy of Burnalong’s campaign calendar for 2021?
Set up a demo and request a copy and we’ll email it to you!
Step 5: Test Your Software Before Launch
While some wellness programs don’t involve software, many corporate wellness programs in 2021 will involve some degree of software to be successful. It is vital to test your software whether the core wellness program is fully hosted on software, like through an online portal or dashboard, or you’re relying on communications software like email, Teams, or Slack to get the word out.
In these circumstances, test your software ahead of time and work with your wellness provider to understand exactly what parts of the software should be tested and retested. Running this process several times with members of your wellness committee and wellness champions will help you identify any potential bugs or issues before you roll out your full program.
Keep in mind your committee members and champions are far more invested in the program’s success and will help you identify these potential issues without affecting their view or success of the overall program. If you wait until the software is in the hands of your workforce, they may encounter a bug that makes them less likely to engage in the program down the road.
As with all corporate wellness programs, working with the right wellness provider helps make it easy. Here at Burnalong, our customer success team works closely with every client leading up to their launch to make sure their employees are engaged and excited from day one.
Speak with one of our wellness experts to learn more about how you can get started with Burnalong today!