checklist-2077020_1920Thinking of starting a workplace wellness program or changing an existing one? If so, it’s important that you don’t overlook a very crucial step in the implementation process.

Performing an assessment of your workplace environment can help you identify areas that need improvement and better develop a plan to meet the needs of your workforce. Such an assessment can also give you a baseline to use for comparison in future evaluations.

How does this assessment work?

To get started, choose a diverse group of four or five people who will complete the wellness environment assessment. This group should include people from all levels of your organization, such as HR professionals, supervisors, and entry level employees. Schedule regular meetings where the group can gather to discuss findings and monitor progress. Plan for annual assessments to promote continuous improvement and accountability.

Once you’ve assembled your team, the next step is determining which areas to assess and create a checklist. (That’s something we can help with, so don’t hesitate to ask.) Six general categories you might want to consider would be general health, physical activity, tobacco use, nutrition, health screening, and emergency response capability.

Your checklist should include several questions under each heading to identify any initiatives you currently have in place and which ones you might need to implement. For each question, list whether you have the component or are in the process of initiating it, or whether it’s completely lacking. You can divvy this up to individual team members or address each item as a group.

Once you’ve finished, compile your results. This will give you an overview of where you currently stand with your workplace wellness environment.

We’ve assessed. Now what?

Using these results, you can now narrow down the most important needs of your workforce, such as smoking cessation or healthy eating habits. Identify which areas are priorities and which ones need the most improvement. Then come up with a plan for how you will make those needed changes.

Another helpful tool is an employee survey, which can help you get a better understanding of your workers’ health habits and potential areas of concern. Make sure the survey is anonymous and remind employees that participation is strictly voluntary as a way of encouraging them to be honest about their needs.

Focus groups and other informal interviews are other great ways to find out what your employees want and need. The best tool for you to use is the one that makes it easiest for your employees to offer feedback as to how you can improve your workplace wellness program, improve employees health and happiness, and ultimately reduce your company’s health care expenses.

Contact us today if we can help get you on the right track!