Questions to consider for an effective workplace wellness program

The following are 20 questions that we have assembled as a tool for considering how your workplace encourages and supports health. These are meant to provide “big picture” considerations of some of the most important facets of health promotion, rather than specific ideas for programs. For more specific and detailed health assessment tools, we encourage you to explore the CDC’s Worksite Health Scorecard and HERO Health’s Well-Being Best Practices Scorecard.

Program Design and Assessment

1. Does your worksite have a health promotion program? If so, who does it cover?

2. How does your company/organization fund health promotion? Does it have an annual health promotion budget set aside?

3. How does your company/organization assess your health promotion efforts? Do you measure behaviors in addition to healthcare costs and biometric markers or outcomes?

4. What aspects of your program are modeled after evidence-based best practices? Does this include consideration of the “therapeutic dose” of initiatives? Does it allow for referral to therapy and higher levels of medical care?

5. Are programs offered to all employees, or specifically to those who meet certain criteria or risk levels?

Holistic Wellness

1. Do your employees have sufficient income and sufficient time to practice healthy behaviors?

2. What measures are in place to address mental and emotional health, including stress?

3. What elements of your program allow your employees to engage in healthy behaviors outside of work? Does this involve their families?

4. What programs does your worksite have to support people living with chronic conditions?

5. How does your wellness program incorporate chronic disease prevention?

Employee Engagement

1. How do you involve employees and their priorities in the design of your wellness program?

2. How do you engage your employees in your wellness program? What kind of incentives do you offer for participation? What reasons are there to engage beyond incentives?

3. If you offer incentives, do they reward behaviors, outcomes, biometric markers, or something else?

4. What group or communal activities are available to employees?

5. What is the central message of your wellness program? Who does it most benefit, and how is this communicated?

Healthy Culture, Healthy Environment

1. What is the central message of your wellness program? Who does it most benefit, and how is this communicated?

2. How are healthy choices made more convenient at your workplace?

3. How do aspects of the physical environment of your workplace reinforce or contradict wellness messaging?

4. How many different departments of your organization are invested in encouraging wellness? Is it seen as a benefit, or as an organizational value?

5. How do leaders in your company/organization communicate, encourage, and model a message of wellness?