6 Steps for Starting a Workplace Wellness Program

Does your company have a wellness program? If not, don’t fret. You can start one yourself!

Taking on one more project at work might seem absolutely daunting, but it may not be as overwhelming as you think. Taking the initiative to develop a program that benefits all staff demonstrates incredible leadership on your part. Not to mention it shows you genuinely care about the company you work for and its valuable employees.

Workplace Wellness

Photo by Taylor Wolfram via Canva

So, you know you want to start a wellness program, what’s the first step?

Here is a rundown of some of the major steps for beginning a workplace wellness program:

1) Set Goals & Objectives

Consider the steps the achieve these goals, any costs, and measurable outcomes.

2) Gain Input

Recruit a committee—you don’t have to do this all by yourself!

Important: survey staff. You can’t assume what employees want out of a wellness program.  Collect data and focus on high priority items.

3) Enlist Support

Get HR involved to make sure you’re covering all of your bases and to seek any approval you may need. Bonus to get executives on board.

4) Plan Budget

Incentives are huge, and also come with a cost. When you develop your program based on employee input, be sure to research and document any associated costs (for example, are you going to host a wellness challenge and provide prizes for the winners?). Talk to the appropriate company liaison to discuss if funds are available. Incorporate “free” activities into the wellness program just in case you receive little or no funding.

5) Develop Programming & Delegate Tasks

Again, you don’t have to tackle this all on your own. If you have a committee in place, consider developing subcommittees to focus on certain areas (for instance, you could have one subcommittee for physical activity to coordinate fitness programs and one for healthy eating to provide nutrition education).

You may also consider bringing in outside experts and hosting lunch and learns or staff workshops (remember this in your budget!).

6) Take Action!

A wellness challenge is a great way to get started. It creates healthy competiveness between staff and gets people involved. Incentives are a must. Remember that the culture may not change overnight, but slowly you will begin to see a shift toward healthier choices!


Resources and success stories on developing and managing a workplace wellness program:

Health Advocate: Setting Up a Wellness Program Checklist for Success

Harvard Business Review: What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?

US Department of Labor: Affordable Care Act and Wellness Programs

The Center for Association Leadership: The Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs

Forbes: 4 Steps to Implement a Successful Employee Wellness Program

Greatist: The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America


Do you have a workplace wellness experience or tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

Meet the Author

Taylor Wolfram

Taylor Wolfram

Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a non-diet approach to sustainable wellness. You can read more from Taylor at her blog Whole Green Wellness. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram at @taylorwolframRD.
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1 Comment

  1. Ginger Hultin Ginger Hultin on May 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    fantastic! love this post – nice work lady