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Strategy

Live Long and Prosper With a Wellness Program

Investing in a company wellness program can bring big returns—but only if employees use it. Amy Francis, health and wellness coordinator at Mercy Springfield, shares her expertise to help you create a fail-proof program.

By Stephanie Towne Benoit | Photo courtesy Amy Francis

Nov 2016

With the New Year approaching, thousands of people are making resolutions to get fit. As a business owner, now is the perfect time to invest in a company wellness program. “Healthier co-workers are happier and more productive,” says Amy Francis, health and wellness coordinator at Mercy Springfield.

There are many ways to structure a program to achieve those benefits, but a good place to start is with an employee survey to identify what resources employees are interested in accessing, like wellness coaching, gym memberships and nutrition information. “Based upon that, start seeking out how you are going to provide those services to your co-workers,” Francis says. Research local options and plan out details like whether to hire a wellness coordinator or have existing staff members manage the program.  

Other considerations include whether to provide incentives—such as payments or insurance discounts correlating with healthy choices—and how much to individualize the program. For example, through Mercy Springfield’s Health and Wellness Connection, coaches tailor specific workouts for employees based on results from a screening test evaluating their movement patterns. 

Once implemented, tracking data can help evaluate whether the program is meeting an organization’s goals. “Being able to continuously go back [to data], that’s how you are going to be able to tell whether [the program is] successful,” Francis says.