Strategically integrated wellness programs have six strong pillars that simultaneously support their success, regardless of the size of the organization. Construct them well, and your institution could see the kinds of big returns that the 10 companies in our sample have garnered.

1. Multilevel Leadership

Creating a culture of health takes passionate, persistent, and persuasive leadership at all levels—from the C-suite to middle managers to the people who have “wellness” in their job descriptions.

2. Alignment

A wellness program should be a natural extension of a firm’s identity and aspirations. Don’t forget that a cultural shift takes time.

3. Scope, Relevance, and Quality

Wellness programs must be comprehensive, engaging, and just plain excellent. Otherwise, employees won’t participate.

4. Accessibility

Aim to make low- or no-cost services a priority. True on-site integration is essential because of convenience matters.

5. Partnerships

Active, ongoing collaboration with internal and external partners, including vendors, can provide a program with some of its essential components and many of its desirable enhancements.

6. Communications

Wellness is not just a mission—it’s a message. How you deliver it can make all the difference. Sensitivity, creativity, and media diversity are the cornerstones.

Outcomes

  • Lower costs
  • The savings on health care costs alone make for an impressive ROI.
  • Greater productivity
  • Participants in wellness programs are absent less often and perform better at work than their nonparticipant counterparts.
  • Higher morale
  • Employee pride, trust, and commitment increase, contributing to a vigorous organization.