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How to Build An Employee Wellness Program That Works

Wellness Program Ideas, Examples, Marketing Strategies & More

Quick Summary

Want to get a high-level overview before digging in?

  • Employee wellness is now a shared responsibility between employers and employees.
  • Employee wellness programs often pay for themselves and boast ROIs of two or three times their cost. They’ve proven to meaningfully impact productivity, creativity, innovation, and team unity. 
  • Not every program is created equal though. Luckily, there are decades of data that have steered us towards evidence-based best practices you can follow. 
  • Successful programs focus on physical, mental, and financial health, and we’ve collected a bunch of the best ideas for each. 
  • Starting and building your corporate wellness program is only half the journey. You’ll need to market and measure your program, and we have some strategies for each. 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

If you and your HR team have been tasked with creating or improving an employee wellness program, this guide is for you. 

We’ll cover all the basics, starting with defining wellness and employee wellness programs (surprisingly, not the easiest thing to do), and we’ll offer tips – backed by plenty of real-world examples – on how to make wellness work for your organization. 

Finally, we’ll show you how to promote your wellness program to ensure maximum utilization. 

Every wellness journey begins with a single, small step. Start your company’s wellness journey here. 

And, don’t forget to download our Employee Wellness Programs Toolkit.

What is workplace wellness? A practical definition. 

The earliest corporate wellness initiatives centered on physical health. But according to most modern definitions, health and wellness are not interchangeable.

  • A U.S. government document lists eight wellness dimensions – social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, and occupational – summarizing wellness as “how we live our lives and the joy and fulfillment and health we experience.”
  •  The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
  •  Healthcare giant Pfizer says, “Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.”

These are just three of the many, many attempts that experts have made at defining wellness. While each definition focuses on different aspects of wellness, nearly every definition agrees on two essential characteristics:

  • Wellness is multifaceted.
  • Wellness is a process.

As we noted in our own definition of wellness:

Wellness is a lifelong pursuit, encompassing everything that goes into building a fulfilling existence. This includes physical health, for sure, but also mental health, financial stability, strong relationships, work-life balance, professional growth and, for some, spiritual attainment.

What is an employee wellness program?

An employee wellness program, sometimes known as a workplace wellness program or corporate wellness program, is an initiative designed to promote holistic wellbeing among employee populations.

Employee wellness programs can address any of the wellness dimensions listed above. The most effective programs target at least three deeply intertwined areas impacting nearly every employee: physical, mental, and financial health

When done well, these programs can boost productivity, creativity, employee retention, morale, and more.

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Do employee wellness programs work?

The short answer: yes. Workplace wellbeing programs can have a huge impact on your organization’s identity and performance.

The longer answer: it depends. For every proponent of employee wellness programs, you’ll also find detractors who feel that they are a waste of resources. 

As with most things, that’s highly dependent on how they are designed and implemented.

For example, there are many onboarding programs that fail to get new hires up to speed, productive, and committed to the organization for the long haul. Likewise, there are organizations that struggle to get their employees to understand and utilize all of the great benefits and perks available to them. But should we stop onboarding employees and offering great benefits packages because some implementations fail?

But employee wellness matters. Happy, healthy employees are the foundation of every high-functioning employer organization. Employees who are healthy, mentally engaged, and financially secure are more comfortable, more innovative, more productive, and better teammates. 

Why employee wellness programs are good for business and productivity.

From Why Employee Wellness Is Good for Business: Benefits and ROI

Employee wellness programs are a good investment for companies because they can help reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity and employee engagement, and improve overall employee health. This article also provides some tips for companies to maximize the ROI of their wellness programs. These tips include setting clear goals and metrics, offering incentives for participation, and using data to track progress and measure success.

From The Connection Between Wellness and Productivity: Insights for HR Managers:

Employee wellness programs can help improve productivity by reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, increasing employee engagement and morale, and improving overall employee health. The author also provides some tips for companies to maximize the productivity benefits of their wellness programs. These tips include offering flexible work arrangements, providing healthy food options, and encouraging physical activity.

Employee Wellness Program ROI: By The Numbers

The potential ROI of an employee wellness program is well-documented.

What do successful corporate wellness plans have in common?

So how do you create evidence-based wellness programs that do work? Here are seven guidelines:

Focus on improvements instead of assessments.

Health risk assessments – which often include biometric screening – should only be a very small part of your overall approach to wellness. After all, do you really need to remind employees that smoking, overeating, and remaining sedentary are unhealthy?

This type of assessment is often necessary for establishing a baseline, but recurring assessments can actually have a negative impact. Not only can they discourage employees, but they can also be extremely costly, averaging $45-70 per employee, per screening.

Instead, you should focus on building a comprehensive program that focuses on improvement rather than assessment. More on that below.

Spend more on program initiatives and spend less on behavioral incentives.

If someone paid you $10 to take 10,000 steps today, would you? Most likely yes. But would you take 10,000 more steps tomorrow without the payment? This is the root issue for many programs that try to “bribe” employees to modify their behaviors – they rarely create long-term change. 

There is a time and place for incentives. Among other things, rewards for achieving team-based objectives can be an especially powerful way to boost camaraderie. But you should spend a lot more money on program initiatives – like gym memberships, commuter passes, and healthy snacks – than you should on Starbucks gift cards. 

Focus on long-term changes, not short-term challenges.

Wellness challenges (including classics like team weight-loss or steps goals) are a great way to inject fun into your wellness program, and many organizations use it as a way to “kickstart” their efforts.

Used this way, wellness challenges work well. But you should also think about investing in the types of long-term changes that pay permanent dividends.

For example, in addition to a “Biggest Loser”-style challenge, you may host cooking classes that focus on macro-friendly alternatives to common foods, like protein pizzas or buffalo chicken wraps from Tom Walsh’s “Stealth Health” series on TikTok.

Don’t offload; take organizational ownership.

Organizations often offload their “wellness program” to their health insurance provider, sending employees a link to their insurer’s website and calling it a day. This is a mistake.

Equally  as bad is hiring multiple external vendors that do different things in an uncoordinated, conflicting, sometimes harmful way. For example, bringing in a mental health counselor to help employees get over their fear of judgment in the gym, but also a rah-rah lifestyle coach that makes introverted employees the center of attention. 

Wellness programs work when organizations take ownership of the initiative. And it starts with leadership: embedding wellness values in company culture, caring for employees as individuals, and leading by example. 

In other words, rather than being a “perk,” holistic wellness should permeate every aspect of the employee experience. Companies embed wellness values into their culture by:

  • Setting reasonable health goals
  • Offering flexible work schedules
  • Creating healthy environments
  • Developing social support
  • Diligently investing in physical, mental, and financial health 

In the next section, you’ll read how Johnson & Johnson, Google, American Express, and Marriott embed wellness as the foundation of their organizations’ cultures.

Focus on whole health, not weight loss.

Weight loss is only part of the equation, and yet it carries a disproportionate amount of focus in wellness programs. It is important, but there are three issues with programs that focus too heavily on weight loss:

  • Obesity is complex. It’s physical, it’s mental, it’s social, and it’s cultural. Some people are obese because of a condition that limits mobility, a disorder, like binge eating. Others are overweight because of an emotional connection to food, or family trauma. Others are overweight because unhealthy food is calorically cheap. 
  • Weight loss has less impact than whole health. Would you rather have a workforce of overweight, but happy, productive, and innovative employees? Or a workforce of skinny employees that are miserable and burnt out? The truth is that it’s not an either/or question – but if you focus on weight loss only, you’re missing out on most of the primary immediate-term benefits of an employee wellness program. 
  • It can make things worse. Some employees will respond well to these initiatives, but others with physical limitations or more complex relationships with food and exercise may inadvertently behave in ways that directly contradict your efforts.

Focusing on whole health wellness will have a much broader impact on your organization and enable employees to chart their own path towards wellness. 

Gain insights instead of making assumptions. 

Just as wellness programs require organizational ownership, they also require employee buy-in. Workers should feel like they own the program, understand the win-win case for it, and have a say in its direction. 

Employees are stakeholders — the primary stakeholders, in fact. If there are committees, employees should be represented. Surveys and focus groups should be a major part of your plan design and guide any needed improvements. 

Employee feedback is invaluable, and the insights will often be what determines success or failure of your initiatives.

For example, should you keep offering a sparsely-attended once-weekly yoga class? Perhaps your employees would prefer access to specialized group sessions at their local gym? (Yoga, while beneficial for fitness and stress reduction, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, after all.)

Learn how to design an effective employee wellness survey here.

Promote the heck out of your wellness program. 

So, if you have appealing program options, great incentives, and organization-wide buy in, why would your employee wellness program fail? Marketing. Most HR folks are not marketers by trade, but you’re going to need to learn how to promote your employee wellness program across multiple channels to get participation and reap the benefits. 

We have an entire section in this guide devoted to promoting your employee wellness program. 

What are some examples of successful wellness programs?

The history of wellness in the workplace goes back further than you might realize. As we described in our article on real-world examples of employee wellness programs:

Workplace wellness has been a focus of employers and HR teams for over 50 years. Because of that, we not only have recent success stories, but also examples that act almost as longitudinal studies, i.e. looking at interventions in the same employee population over decades.

Some of the worlds’ most well-known companies — all leaders in their fields — have launched wellness programs worth emulating. Here are some examples from the above linked article:

  • Johnson & Johnson launched Live for Life in 1978, an employee wellness initiative that included onsite access to behavior modification tools and education on nutrition, stress management, and other wellness topics. Over the years, Johnson & Johnson has continued to lead the way on employee wellness, offering innovative benefits such as access to a resilience app, childcare support for new families, daily wellbeing reminders, and student loan coaching.
  • Google has been a leader in employee wellness, providing benefits like onsite wellness centers, access to mental health apps, and one-on-one financial coaching to its 130,000-plus employees. During the COVID period, Google’s Head of Global Resilience created a series of resilience training videos to help employees “meet the moment.” Each video was five or six minutes long and centered around a specific topic, including breathing, the importance of sleep, parenting, and dealing with anxiety. According to a CNBC report, 30,000 Google employees watched the videos in less than a month.
  • American Express is consistently recognized for its commitment to employee wellness, receiving honors from the Business Group on Health 11 years in a row. In 2012, the company’s wellness team partnered with the non-profit Community Health Charities to roll out Healthy Living With Diabetes, a program that included periodic blood sugar testing, webinars and learning sessions, one-on-ones with medical professionals, healthy living tools and resources, and online content. By year three, several hundred employees had joined the program. Follow-up measurements found that 62% of participants had their blood sugar levels within a healthy range, and about half said they started an exercise program and lost weight because of the program.
  • Marriott International’s employee wellness initiative, TakeCare, takes a holistic perspective on wellness. Mental and emotional health, career development, financial wellness, sustainability, and social impact are all elements of the TakeCare program. To receive TakeCare certification, Marriott properties answer questions like: “Do you offer healthy food and beverage choices at meetings or sponsored events?” “Do you promote tools and resources that educate and support a diverse and inclusive culture?” “Do you sponsor at least one day per year focused on volunteerism?” As of 2018, 88% of Marriott-managed properties encourage physical activity among employees with walking breaks or sponsored fitness breaks. Over 50% of properties made space for private meditation, prayer, or relaxation available to all associates.

Read the full article to get more insights into how these programs achieved their impressive results >> 

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What are good ideas for employee wellness programs?

As noted above, wellness is a holistic, lifelong process. It is also highly individualized. There is no “correct” way to achieve wellness. For example, some employees may find that meditative contemplation helps them relieve work-related stress, while others may prefer to burn off stress with intense athletic competition.

The best wellness programs offer a diverse range of options so that employees can follow their own path to whole-health wellbeing. Multiple options also allow employees to find the right place to start their wellness journeys based on their current relationship to wellness. 

You may be looking for ideas for your employee wellness program, and you’ve come to the right place. Here are some:

Why Employee Wellness Is Good for Business Benefits and ROI

1. Physical Health Ideas for Employee Wellness Programs

It’s still important to treat diseases and injuries, of course. But we now recognize that living your best life also involves developing sustainable healthy eating, exercise habits, and a lot more. If you’re looking to address the physical side of employee wellness, here are some innovative ideas to consider:

  1. An Employee Cookbook Project. An employee cookbook project invites employees to submit and share healthy recipes they love. You can compile the best recipes into a cookbook and distribute it company-wide. It can even become an annual tradition (or you can assemble seasonal variations, such as a “healthy holidays” edition).
  2. A 30-Day Wellness Challenge Workbook. Help your employees mix it up by offering a new prompt for improving their physical or mental health every day of the month. Your 30-day wellness challenge workbook can be virtual, printable, distributed via Slack or your HR microsite, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy, depending on what you think would be most helpful to your employee population.
  3. A Workspace Ergonomics Guide. Sitting all day can be bad for your health — physical and mental. Extended sitting behind a desk is associated with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and a host of musculoskeletal ailments stemming from poor positioning. An ergonomics guide or poster can provide your employees with a few simple changes with lifelong impact. 
  4. A Healthy Commute Options Map. An interactive healthy commute options map (perhaps provided through your company’s onboarding portal) can direct new hires and everyone else to the best bike paths and pedestrian-friendly roads. They can also offer tips for safety and sightseeing along the way.
  5. A Sleep Hygiene Checklist. You can help your employees get a better night’s sleep and arrive at work refreshed and recharged with a sleep hygiene checklist. Your checklist can include sleep-promoting tips like choosing the right mattress, turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed, and maintaining a fixed bedtime and wake-up time. (Harvard provides the perfect model.)
  6. Workout ‘Passes’. According to one survey, 42% of Americans don’t exercise more frequently because they don’t have time; 36% skip planned workouts because they have “too much work to do.” Workplace workout passes take these common excuses away from your employees. Workout passes can be printed or digital, giving your employees “permission” to take an hour away from work to focus on their health. They can use the time to go for a jog, visit a nearby gym, practice yoga, or do any other exercise they choose.
Must-Have Tools for Your Employee Wellness Toolkit

2. Mental Health Ideas for Employee Wellness Programs

While the body and mind are intertwined, addressing physical wellness is going to have the most significant impact on your team’s sense of camaraderie and your healthcare spending. Mental wellness, meanwhile, will impact your team’s sense of belonging, happiness, and contributions to your organization’s immediate success. So don’t neglect mental wellness, and here are some ideas:


  1. A “Mindfulness at Work” Ebook. Your mindfulness at work ebook can compile quick, work-friendly mindfulness practices into one accessible resource. (Here are a few to get you started.) Ask your company design team (or hire a freelance designer) to enliven your book with clear and colorful illustrations.
  2. Practice Mindful Management. The best options are often free, and this is no exception: minimize workload overload and set realistic deadlines. It’s important to check in with employees regularly to make sure their workloads are manageable.
  3. Employee Assistance Programs. Chances are, you already offer an EAP; chances are, your employees don’t know what an EAP does and how they can access it. Now is as good a time as any to better promote your EAP, which can help employees tap into a wide array of resources to meet their needs.
  4. Show Recognition. Employees want to feel like they belong and their work has value, and showing recognition is one of the easiest ways to reduce employee burnout.  Every organization needs to dedicate time to showing how much they value their employees. Better yet, provide every employee with an “appreciation budget” that allows them to directly gift their coworkers to show their appreciation. This is precisely the type of bottom-up initiative that generates a high impact. 
Financial Wellness Ideas for Your Employee Wellness Program

3. Financial Wellness Ideas for Employee Wellness Programs

According to a recent Capital One and the Decision Lab survey, more than three in four Americans (77%) feel anxious about their financial situation. According to that same study, 43% of Americans feel fatigued due to financial stress, 42% find it difficult to concentrate at work, and 41% say financial stress interferes with their sleep. 

Too many wellness programs focus primarily on physical and mental health while ignoring financial health, which has a deep and meaningful impact on physical and mental health

Here are some ways to improve financial wellness in your organization:

  1. 1-on-1 Financial Counseling. Financial counseling puts your employees in touch with financial experts who can demystify complex financial concepts, assess your employees’ current spending habits, and help them plan to achieve their goals, regardless of their life stage. (Don’t forget, your EAP may already offer free financial counseling.)
  2. Discount Programs. Discount programs are a great way to offset the impact of inflation, and every dollar counts for many families. Consider focusing your discount program around big-ticket items such as furniture and travel, and make sure your program includes the most popular stores. 
  3. Financial Wellness Tools. There are numerous digital financial wellness tools and apps to choose from, covering a wide range of costs and capabilities. Some are focused on individual financial goals — such as paying for college — while others serve as multipurpose financial platforms. If you’re unsure which tools fit your employee population best, poll your employees about their financial challenges and dreams.
  4. Emergency Savings Funds. Employees often have to balance planning for the future against planning for disaster. It’s hard for employees to address long-term financial goals (like home ownership or retirement) when they’re worrying about building up their emergency fund first. But new financial planning tools enable employees to set aside a portion of their income for emergencies, and for employers to match their contributions.
  5. Pay Employees More. The simplest solutions are often the most effective. Paying employees more, especially without them having to request it, is a surefire way to reduce financial stress and build employee loyalty. 

Check out this article for more financial wellness program ideas.

3 Virtual Wellness Challenge Ideas for HR Teams

4. Remote/Virtual Ideas for Employee Wellness Programs

Your HR team shouldn’t have to give up on wellness just because your workforce has gone hybrid. In fact, wellness may be even more critical for remote teams. Remote work can promote a sedentary lifestyle and deprive people of human interaction, which is essential for mental health.

Here are three fun and beneficial wellness challenge ideas that don’t require gathering in person:

  1. Virtual Steps Challenges (or Other Virtual Fitness Challenges). Steps challenges are workplace wellness classics for good reasons. They’re not intimidating, they are easy to do, and they work. Keep in mind though: Virtual fitness challenges can be about more than steps. The same basic approach works for all kinds of fitness activities, like sit-ups, biking, or weight training. 
  2. Virtual Healthy Eating Challenges. These challenges can help your hybrid or remote workers develop healthier eating habits. Similar to virtual fitness challenges, virtual healthy eating challenges can involve tracking healthy choices and sharing them with others. As with a fitness challenge, building a supportive community is the key to a successful virtual healthy eating challenge. For organizations on Teams or Slack, you can share Meatless Monday or Turkey Taco Tuesday recipes through your chat. 
  3. Virtual Wellness Classes. Fortunately, you don’t have to look very far to find qualified instructors willing to lead virtual wellness classes. Many, if not all, instructors learned to conduct virtual classes during the pandemic. If you choose to offer virtual wellness classes to your employees, plan on catering to a range of skill levels. Slot classes in the mornings, afternoons, and throughout the week to accommodate different schedules and preferences. For ideas, check out our article about employee wellness ideas for remote workers.

How to measure an employee wellness program?

Data and experience prove that employee wellness programs can boost productivity, reduce healthcare costs, attract top talent, and increase engagement — all of which can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.

The question remains, how can you be sure your organization’s wellness program is paying off? The answer to this question is vital for selling leadership on your wellness program investment and continuous program optimization.

There is no single correct way to measure the success of a wellness program. As you consider health and wellbeing solutions and weigh the efficacy of your current offerings, you will likely focus on a mix of metrics tuned to your company’s priorities and unique employee population. We suggest starting by drawing from the 10 metrics listed below:

4 Employee-Focused Wellness Program Metrics

  1. Participation. Monitor employee involvement in wellness programs to ensure your investment is being used effectively. While 100% participation is unlikely, aim for higher utilization by promoting awareness and addressing employees’ wellness preferences.
  2. Engagement. Focus on participant satisfaction to ensure your wellness program is meeting employees’ needs. Identify areas for improvement by gathering feedback and working with providers to enhance the program features.
  3. Biometrics. Using biometric screenings to assess key health indicators offers insights into the wellness program’s effectiveness. Group data can reveal trends over time, helping you evaluate the program’s performance.
  4. Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing. Monitor mental health and wellbeing by engaging with staff and using anonymous polls. Addressing mental health can improve overall employee productivity and positively impact your company’s success.
Make Business Case for Employee Wellness Program

6 Business-Oriented Wellness Program Metrics

  1. Healthcare Utilization. Wellness program participants typically have lower healthcare expenses and insurance claims. Increasing awareness and participation can result in significant savings that outweigh program costs, boosting your ROI.
  2. Disability and Workers’ Compensation. Effective wellness programs contribute to fewer disability and workers’ compensation claims, as healthier employees are less susceptible to injury and illness.
  3. Productivity. Well-designed wellness programs enhance productivity by helping employees manage physical, mental, financial, and stress-related challenges. These programs can also foster creativity and collaboration.
  4. Turnover. Employee wellness and program performance can impact turnover rates. By addressing health, stress, and satisfaction, wellness programs can reduce burnout and attrition. Moreover, offering a high-quality wellness program attracts and retains employees, as 87% of them consider wellness packages when choosing an employer.
  5. Absenteeism. Effective wellness programs can reduce absenteeism, as healthier employees miss fewer workdays. Over half of employers with wellness programs reported decreased absenteeism in one study.
  6. Morale. Wellness programs that involve group challenges can boost morale and engagement by fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Experiment with different challenges to keep employees inspired and engaged.

As the 10 metrics listed above demonstrate, measuring the success of your wellness program is also, in more ways than one, about measuring the health of your business.

How to promote your wellness program?

Improving Adoption & Utilization

Various factors might discourage employees from participating in an employer wellness program, including poorly-aligned incentives, disinterest, inconvenience, insufficient funding, or privacy concerns. Employee participation may also be influenced by the perceived level of management involvement. When workers see supportive management, they are more likely to engage. Management can demonstrate commitment by actively promoting the program and ensuring proper funding.

If you’ve made it this far, you probably know all of this already and won’t fall into the same pitfalls that many program designers do. 

So, if you have appealing program options, great incentives, and organization-wide buy in, why would your employee wellness program fail? Let me say it again: Marketing. Most HR folks are not marketers by trade, but you’re going to need to learn how to promote your program across multiple channels to boost participation and reap the benefits. 

Career-boosting tips for new HR managers

Quick Marketing Tips & Best Practices

Here are some best practices for promoting employee wellness programs in your organization:

  • Host a big kick off event. A big kickoff event can help build excitement for a wellness initiative, especially a participatory program like a group steps challenge.
  • Use multiple communication channels to reach employees. This can include email, social media, microsites, slack channels, texts, videos,posters, flyers, and in-person meetings.
  • Make sure that the benefits of the wellness program are clearly communicated to employees. This can include sharing success stories from other employees who have participated in the program.
  • Offer incentives for participation in wellness programs. This can include rewards for reaching certain milestones or goals, such as a bonus long weekend or a 4-day workweek for winning teams or individuals.
  • Make wellness programs easily accessible to employees. This can include offering on-site wellness services or providing resources that employees can access from their computers or mobile devices.
  • Encourage employee participation in wellness programs by making them fun and engaging. This can include hosting contests or challenges that encourage healthy behaviors.

Promoting your wellness program across multiple channels is essential, both to build awareness, and because some employees will be more receptive in specific channels. 

7 Ways to Promote Your Employee Wellness Program

Seven Comms Channels to Promote Your Wellness Program

We included detailed advice for marketing across six different channels in our article, 7 Ways to Promote Your Employee Wellness Program. Here are the marketing channels we recommend:

1. Email Announcements and Updates

The key to writing an attention-getting email is brevity. Don’t dump everything about your employee wellness program into a single gargantuan message. Instead, offer brief reminders and updates periodically, tied to whatever employees might be experiencing at that moment.

Use bullet points, numbered lists, and visual elements to help your email stand out and emphasize essential points, and keep in mind: a boring subject line might send your email straight to the trash.

2. Digital Postcards

Digital Postcards capture the fun and excitement of your wellness program with attractive visual flair, integrated video, and other compelling elements. Customized colors and logos put the weight of your company’s branding behind your wellness initiative.

3. Explainer Videos

There are countless ways to use video to promote your employee wellness program, from sharing yoga classes to motivational messages from company leadership. You can also use video to explain complex or frequently misunderstood wellness program concepts, such as how to use the EAP or access mental health benefits.

4. Microsite or Portals

A microsite or portal puts everything an employee needs all in one, easy to access place where they can: learn about your wellness program, enroll in challenges, track their progress, sign up for classes, and access digital program features.

5. Employee SMS

You can use employee text messaging to remind employees about your wellness program and promote upcoming initiatives. If you have a group challenge in progress, quick messages of encouragement can help employees stay motivated. Text messaging is also excellent for publicly recognizing employees’ wellness accomplishments.

6. Virtual Wellness Fairs

Employee wellness fairs are time-honored events where companies introduce wellness program vendors, raise awareness of wellness issues, conduct health screening, and distribute a whole lot of swag. But in this era of remote and flexible work, your next wellness fair might see record low attendance.

Like a virtual benefits fair, a virtual wellness fair takes all the good parts of a wellness fair — the excitement of an event, access to information and vendors, contests and swag offers — and puts them online where employees can visit at their own convenience, anytime, anywhere.

When is the best time to start an employee wellness program?

The best time to start an employee wellness program is now!

As you’ve learned from this guide, helping employees become healthier, more balanced, and more satisfied helps your organization in countless ways, including the bottom line. But financial benefits aside, wellness programs show your employees that your company cares about their wellbeing and values them not just as contributors but as people with rich lives with diverse challenges.

We’ve shared a lot of tips and data points in this guide, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Just as with a personal wellness plan, employee wellness plans often work best when you start small and build on your successes. Getting started doesn’t require a heavy financial investment, either; many high-impact corporate wellness options are free!

We hope you’ve discovered some useful and actionable information in this guide for building your employee wellness program. Visit our blog regularly (or subscribe) for more tips and guidance on wellness programs, benefits communications, employee engagement, and everything else HR-related.

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