Most companies expect a lot out of worksite wellness programs. Perhaps too much, especially given the fact that most programs are haphazardly put together and dumped on the shoulders of an HR person who already has a lot of other work on their plate.

After 12 years in the wellness industry, I’ve seen worksite wellness programs take a less than effective turn. I’m passionate about fixing a very broken approach to employee health. I truly believe effective wellness programs can enhance the lives of employees. I’ve seen it happen.

But we can’t fix a broken approach without first admitting there’s a problem. I wanted to walk you through The 5 Key Ingredients to a Successful Worksite Wellness Program. You can listen to me walking you through these ingredients by clicking here.

Have a wellness strategy. we rarely treat employee health and wellness as a business imperative but rather as a series of activities to see what sticks. Then we hope for a very positive outcome. Not good.If having a strategy seems overwhelming, then just pick ONE thing to focus on. It could be to engage a certain number of employees, to start shifting your culture into one of worksite wellness or simply to increase the level of physical activity.

Involve your employees. think of your employees as your customer and ask them about their day to day challenges. Simple ways to get employees involved include surveying them, observe them or just talk to them and ask them what’s on their minds. Forming a wellness committee can really help get some buy in from employees as long as they understand what they’re supposed to accomplish.

Make sure there’s a sense of trust and caring for employees. I always say that employees have an easy to trip BS detector and they know if you don’t really support their overall health. If they think you don’t care, they won’t care about what you want them to do.One of my team members saw this in action when she was promoting a health platform. An employee said to her, the company doesn’t care about me so I don’t care about what they’re offering.

Tailor your initiatives by department or job function. One size fits all approaches don’t work. As many health plans, insurance brokers or wellness vendors offer turnkey solutions, the truth is that wellness is not turnkey. Nothing worth building is.You will get MUCH more buy in from employees if you understand their day to day challenges and get them to help you find solutions. Using a local government, you can’t expect the shift workers who guard the prisoners to have the same needs as the librarians or HR staff.

Find ways to go beyond the physical aspect of employee health. With wellness, we focus on diet, exercise and smoking. What lies behind making behavior change? Think how often you have started and stopped new healthy habits. Mental and emotional barriers get in our way of changing but we don’t address them enough.

How does your wellness program stack up? I’d love to hear about your successes as well as barriers.

You can hear me walk through these key ingredients on my podcast. Just click here to access it on iTunes or you can listen to it on my website by clicking here.

Join me and guest experts as we discuss how to create successful wellness programs that improve the health and lives of employees!

I’m really excited to get started on this journey of podcasting and would love for you to join me.