Building a Wellness Program 101

By Rita Pyrillis

Jun. 3, 2016

While large employers are leading the way in corporate wellness, smaller companies that have been struggling to catch up are getting some help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which recently released a step-by-step guide to designing a successful wellness program.

“This speaks to the small midmarket companies,” said Jenn Roberts, a wellness expert and Mercer consultant based in Houston. “There’s so much going on with wellness since the passage of the ACA, but there are still a lot of employers that don’t really have a wellness program. The chamber asked us to come up with five to 10 steps to help them.”

Roberts and her co-authors contributed a chapter to the 40-page report highlighting best practices for employee wellness, including “10 essential steps” for developing a workplace wellness program. The guide takes employers from the first step of assessing their organization’s readiness for a wellness program to developing a multiyear plan to creating the right incentives for specific behaviors and ultimately to conducting a financial analysis of the program.

“If someone is just getting started in wellness or has a wellness program but maybe is not measuring outcomes, this guide speaks to them,” Roberts said. “It’s also useful for large employers who are already doing those things but need a refresh.”

Other chapters focus on how well-designed programs can benefit both the company and employees and how to create incentives that comply with federal, state and local laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; Americans with Disabilities Act; and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The report, titled “Winning With Wellness,” is a collaboration of leading experts and academics. Employers can download a free copy through the Chamber of Commerce website.

Rita Pyrillis is a writer based in the Chicago area.


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog


EEOC says that employers legally can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated in almost all instances

If you’re an employer looking to get as many of your employees vaccinated as possible, you can rest eas...

ADA, CDC, COVID-19, EEOC, GINA, pandemic, vaccinated

workforce blog


Fixing some common misconceptions about HIPAA

Ever since the CDC amended its COVID-19 guidance to say that the fully vaccinated no longer need to wea...

COVID-19, health care, HIPAA, human resources, wellness

workforce blog


We are in the midst of a public mental health crisis; how employers can help

Do not ignore these issues or your employees who are living with them. Mental health illnesses are no d...

ADA, benefits, Coronavirus, FMLA, mental health, paid time off