Employee Wellness Program 101: How to Create, Maintain, and Evaluate

Employee Wellness Programs

The work flexibility and dictating the hours are the two most lucrative things about working remotely. These, however, are not loved by everyone. Some people feel that the work-from-anywhere policies make them stressed as there’s no clear-cut boundary between work and relaxation or between work and exercise. This condition often makes remote employees feel overwhelmed, decreases their motivation to work, and eventually causes burnout. One way HR managers can fight burnout is through employee wellness programs.

The creation phase of the employee well-being events is perhaps the easiest. However, the most challenging step is to maintain them. Join us as we give you the best ways to initiate, organize, and evaluate suitable employee wellness programs. 

How to Choose and Create the Programs

Create a Survey That Includes Different Types of Programs

Create a survey with different programs, then present it to your employees for feedback. It should have a wide range of activities to choose from, even the ones that you think no one will choose. Some of the options are:

  • Sports: yoga, jogging, group meditations, or weekend group training
  • Arts and crafts: pottery making, paper mache, clay modeling, and painting 
  • Cooking: hold a cooking masterclass or develop an office cookbook. Another alternative is to have a cooking competition where participants compete against each other for a prize.
  • Film and books: host an office movie night or create a book club where members select a book to read and review

Be sure to include a blank section in your survey where employees can provide suggestions as well. 

Pick Some of the Most Voted Programs

Working in a team means engaging with different personalities. So why not do the same with wellness programs? The most voted programs will tell you what activities to hold for the employee well-being events. Make sure that your arrangements align with the participants’ schedules and do not overlap with any company’s events. Ideally, the time for the classes should appeal to everyone. 

Also, remember to encourage participation. After all, what good is an employee wellness program if they don’t want to enroll or continue to take part? 

Offer prizes and rewards as a way of encouraging membership and being active. Rewards are a powerful incentive, and you can include different categories to spice it up a little. They can include:

  • Gift Vouchers
  • Work Equipment
  • Secret Prizes

Align the Programs with the Budget

Having a budget will prevent you from stretching resources too thin, and it also saves you the headache of looking for extra funding. If your company doesn’t have many resources to spare, you can cut costs by asking one of the team members to coach.

It’s a win for everyone since it makes the activities more interactive by having one of you spearhead them. You also nurture leadership skills by delegating roles and assigning responsibilities to them. Furthermore, it fosters accountability and team-building values, making it the perfect way to grow a positive work culture.

Create a Voting Survey to Decide the Time and Place of the Programs

You’ll need a time and place for the program. Your employees can help you establish these through the surveys. Take all their suggestions, then have them vote on the best one. On a side note, we recommend having an alternative on standby just if things don’t work out. 

Activities such as yoga, pilates, and sports will require more room, so an open space with fresh air would be best. Take the art and crafts session outside for a change of scenery. For cooking classes and book/movie clubs, they can work well online from the comfort of each participant’s place.

How to Make Sure the Programs Are Working

Make Sure the Programs are Visible for Everyone

Put up some posters about the events in the office and send out messages on the internal communication channels. It will ensure everyone is in the loop about the upcoming programs. Also, remember to keep the signing list open in case some latecomers want to join in for fun.

Start With a Small Group or Organize a Tryout Period Before Scaling It

First, start with a small control group to see how the program runs. Then, monitor and keep track of their responses to refine the rough edges in the current arrangement. Similarly, consider creating a trial period before scaling it – think of it as a control experiment or simulation.

Ask For Feedback 

Ask the members for feedback once the first meeting is over. You can include questions such as:

  • Are there areas that need improvement?
  • Were the activities engaging enough?  
  • Was all the equipment available?
  • Did everyone attend regularly? If not, why?
  • How was the coach?

Conduct Regular Check-ins

Hold regular check-ins with the coach or team leaders during and after the end of the program. Let them fill you in on the participation and excitement rate. Also, ask for their insight into how the activities can be modified for better results.

Encourage Regular Attendance

Encourage members to attend and participate in the events. Make it voluntary but remind them to keep the absence at a minimum level. You don’t want to strong-arm your employees into attending but also don’t want your programs to be abandoned. 

How to Evaluate for the Future

Curate an End of Term Review for Future Programs

Create a survey for the end of the term to gather suggestions on what to include in future employee well-being programs. Some of the questions to include in the survey can be:

  1. What was the overall rating of the materials, coach, and event organization?
  2. What did the participants get?
  3. What could and should be changed?
  4. Would you recommend the program to others?

Consider Opening New Types of Programs

Create variations in the company’s calendar to ensure that everyone can participate in the program they love. For example, this month you open a painting class. Then, after it ends, start a yoga class. That way, everyone has a chance to join and choose those that suit them. Alternatively, if many participants want to continue in the same program, keep the event open, but create a new group that runs parallel to the original program.


Working remotely exposes employees to fatigue which can develop into burnout if left unchecked. As an HR manager, you can ease their stress level by creating a balanced and supportive employee wellness program. The activities options are endless but be careful in choosing the one that suits your team, work culture, and the budget that you have. Ask for feedback and encourage regular attendance. The most challenging part isn’t how to start one but maintaining and improving it for the next cycle. When the wellness sessions run perfectly, it can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower employee turnover.

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