We see lots of articles, blog posts, and lists about the things great companies do to launch great wellness programs. Often, suggestions include things that happen during a wellness program and rarely touch on the things that must happen before a program is ever launched that, in many ways, are more influential in determining a program’s success. In typical Wellable fashion, we want to challenge the way people think about wellness and focus on planting the seeds of success.
This suggestion may not seem novel, but most lists encourage management support by having them present at the launch event, introducing the speaker at a health seminar, or merely participating in a wellness challenge. These things are important, but they are a product of true management support and a desire to build culture. What happens before any public support of wellness by management is a realization by leadership that wellness is important. As much as we wish this overwhelming support comes from a moment of creative inspiration, the more likely scenario is that someone (internally or externally) convinced them of the benefits of wellness and why it is important. If it has to be you, check out these tips to sell wellness to executives.
After genuine management support is won, the next step is to translate that support into a financial commitment. Many programs tend to ignore or spend little time with the budgeting process. Specifically, not enough time is spent on how to get the most from each dollar spent. This is different from finding the best deals or cheapest service in each category. We encourage smart budgeting for employee wellness, which means identifying areas of interest from your employees, leveraging free or economical resources, and embracing a controlled rollout (dipping your toe into the water before you go swimming).
Part of the smart budgeting process also encourages research. Before you can assess your options, you must know what they are, determine why each option fits or doesn’t, and understand the costs to launch each option. Research can be tough, which is why we created a free guide to smart budgeting for employee wellness, which includes wellness options as well as their pro, cons, and costs.