Program Planning

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Program Planning

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Introduction

For any company to achieve the operational objectives set during the beginning of every fiscal year, the employees must be in a position to disseminate their functions in the right physical, psychological and mental state. Employee productivity is dependent on how the company ensures that their workers are in the right health state to perform. From the survey conducted by the human resource department at the company , it is clear that implementation of a new wellness program is paramount in ensuring that the firm does not incur high costs in terms of medical insurance in the future. Besides, an employee wellness program is the most suitable method that can be implemented by company executives to ascertain that their workforce is healthier and happier. Therefore, I intend to develop, implement a suitable wellness program that will be beneficial to the workers and the company’s bottom line.

Program Planning

In the planning phase, my task is to design a plan of action. However, it is imperative that the top executive and the employers work closely and corporate in this phase to ensure that a suitable program is selected. The program design progress is a step-by-step process that involves data collection, evaluation and systemic preparation of the wellness program.

Health assessment

A clear and objective health assessment is important in obtaining data on specific health requirement of employees and will aid in designing of a program which is customized to their specific needs. The data obtained enables the wellness program director to formulate a viable strategy to mitigate against future health risks, hence reduce costs and improve productivity. An efficient tool of assessment should be employed, for accuracy of data.

Health assessment will be conducted by the use of a survey form in form of web-based and physical questionnaire. The privacy and confidentiality of the employees is an important ethical consideration in health assessment. CITATION CDC20 l 1033 (CDC, 2020) To eliminate fear of judgement and discrimination, confidentiality will be maintained while conducting the health assessment by excluding employees’ names in the survey forms. Outsourcing a survey coordinator and initiating privacy precautions for web-based surveys will ensure comfort of employees in relaying sensitive health information, which will improve the reliability of information provided. The surveys once filled, will be inserted into unmarked envelopes and submitted in drop boxes placed in different part of the organization premise.

Management support

Management support is significant to the success of a wellness program. Management is the link of the program director to the organization in terms of funding, and formulation and implementation of the relevant policies to ensure adoption of the program. The management is also responsible for ensuring the wellness program adheres to the business’ financial obligations. This is done by aligning the cost of the program to the profit margin and ensuring these costs don’t affect the profit creation of the business. It is crucial that the strategies suggested by the program be aligned to the business’ existing structure and future maneuvers.

Taking advantage of factors that influence managers’ support on suggested policies will be useful in getting them to support the program. Managers are crucial in building organizational cultures. Visible support and involvement in the wellness program would be highly significant in creating an organizational culture that supports employee wellness. (Parsey et al, 2018)The managers will therefore be informed of their crucial role in developing such an organizational culture through a series of meetings.

Since the program is geared towards general welfare of the employees, management support of the program implies consideration of employee welfare by management rather than profit maximization. This improves the perception of employees towards management and can in turn, increase employee morale and commitment. This is a useful tool in convincing the management to support the program. By aligning the firm’s mission and goals with the leadership methods of managers, I intend to convince the latter that the wellness program will effectively influence positive outcomes after it is fully implemented in the company.

Establishing an employee wellness committee

The employee wellness committee will be constituted once the needs of the employees have been understood. Additionally, the committee will be comprised of workers from different corporate levels and division such as human resource and information technology. The functions of the committee will be to assess different policies under the program and to evaluate their effectiveness. Additionally, the committee will help steer the program into success by taking part in policy creation based on frequent progress data presented to them for discussion. Besides, the wellness committee will be instrumental in creation of the vision, goals and mission statements of the program and will therefore drive the program objectively towards attainment of its set goals and objectives. Moreover, frequent and periodic assessment of progress will be discussed by the committee to evaluate the effectiveness of developed policies. The period in which each member will serve in the committee will be outlined and the criteria of appointment of committee officials clearly stated. Shuffling of members and officials will enable the committee exploit different perspectives.

Employee input

Employee input in the creation of a program determines employees’ engagement in the wellness program. The employees of the organization should get involved with the program, not only to avoid certain penalties or to receive rewards, but for their genuine improvement of health. (CDC, 2018) The success of any wellness program is highly dependent on the involvement of the employees in the creation process, since they are the intended users of the program.

The employees should be involved in step to step design and implementation of the program and this should happen under conscious effort by the program director and the management of the organization. The employees will be urged to volunteer into the wellness committee to ensure their needs are considered in the programs plans. Employees’ involvement in the program will be instrumental in the attainment of management support by the program. The program works better when employees are invested in it and therefore this is a convincing tool for management support.

The program ‘director will also seek employee input and participation in drafting an interest and needs survey and also reporting on the same. These interests will include sporting activities, various cardiovascular fitness exercises and other activities. The program will then incorporate these interests into the different routines that the wellness committee decides on, to encourage participation by employees. Thus, emphasis on employee needs will ensure that the program serves their interests fully will increase the number of workers willing to participate in the wellness program.

External support

To increase the effectiveness of a wellness program, external support in form of partnerships should be sort. These partners can be pharmaceutical, sporting or food and beverage companies These partnerships offer support towards the programs course by provision of funding and also expertise in different areas of the program’s policy inclination. (Wipfli, 2018). Funding from external sources eases the financial burden placed on the organization and therefore provides the program with the required money to meet the proposed budget with little or no hurdles. This ensures that the program created is the intended one and is therefore highly effective.

Partners can also provide expert advice to the program coordinators, which helps in tailoring the program into an effective one and can also hold educative seminars where experts interact with employees and pass on valuable knowledge. These partners mostly offer input during the implementation phase but this is not always the case. The wellness program director will seek to partner with different external organization, including the state to to create more awareness of healthy living and mental health. The program will also include commercial banks and insurance companies in creation of wellness systems that are geared towards financial wellbeing of employees and rewards for goals achievement.

Development of goals and objectives

The primary goal and objective for the development of the wellness program by the organization is improve the health of its employees hence improving their productivity, and to reduce the cost of health insurance coverage. The program however has many additional benefits that should be included in its vision statement. Therefore, thorough assessment of these benefits and their development into goals and objectives of the program is key to the success of the program.

These goals and objectives should be long-term and should be achievable. They should be clearly stated to enable ease of interpretation, evaluation and commitment. After receiving the health assessment report, the committee will discuss the results and brainstorm milestones to be achieved by the program. In general, the policies of the program will be directed towards health optimization and cost reduction.

Since most of the diseases highlighted in the report are as a result of lifestyle choices, one goal of the program will be to change poor lifestyle habits of the employees such as smoking. The program will set a time limit within which it will target to reduce the number of smokers in the employee population by a significant percentage. Given the existing number of health related absenteeism, the program will seek to cut down on that figure by a specific future date.Through its fitness and dietary programs, the program will make it a mission to reduce the number of obese or overweight employees by a specified year. Since cost cutting is part of the primary goals of the program, the organization’s yearly expenditure will also be reduced by a certain percentage within a specified amount of time. These goals and objectives will determine the proclivity of the program and ensure the program remains committed to its purpose.

Wellness program budget

The wellness program budget is determined by what the employer is offering the employees through the wellness program. In other words, the budget will be constituted according to what the company is willing to invest in the wellness initiative. These include the incentives given to members, the cost of rewards, the infrastructural modification that the program initiates, the cost of various awareness campaigns which includes cost of merchandise, online resources, program incentive costs, fitness trackers, committee members’ compensation and cost of outsourcing services. Most importantly, coming up with a suitable budget permits the committee to deliberate on the most suitable wellness program available.

The program director is tasked with ensuring the program is financially feasible and manageable. The program budget should be aligned to other financial responsibilities of the organization to be effective. The program director will seek partnerships to increase the program budget thereby implementing the program plans with ease. Funding by these partners will provide the program with the tools necessary to achieve its objectives.

The program will also seek to cut its budgetary expenditure through various methods. Reducing the budget without compromising the quality of the program will be key to attaining a cost friendly but highly effective program. This can be done conducting a survey to determine whether the employees are willing to pay for some of the services in the program. The program can also research for free community wellness events that it can participate in.

Wellness program components

The wellness program will offer general health benefits in three forms; frequent screening activities, preventive methods and health promotion methods.

i) Frequent screening

The program will conduct frequent screening of employees’ health conditions. This includes both biometrical screening of medical information, such as, blood pressure, sugar levels, lipid levels, weight and height, and lifestyle surveys such as smoking habits, dietary information and exercise frequency. This information will then be used to tackle these complications. Most importantly, workers are guaranteed that their private data collected from the screening process will be protected.

ii) Preventive methods.

This method involves management of negative conditions present among the employee population. This includes lifestyle adjustments and diseases control. Employees are then urged to make positive changes towards attainment of a healthy lifestyle. These tools of wellness creation will involve educative seminars that promote awareness of health risks such as smoking cessation seminars. It will also be done through forums and campaigns that promote adoption of healthy eating habits. The program will also offer counseling services to employees (Mattke, 2013)

iii) Health promotion methods.

This involves measures taken by the program to boost the fitness levels of the employees. This includes building an on-site fitness center and hiring a personal trainer. The fitness center being on the premise will encourage enrollment. The program will also launch different sporting activities and encourage participation by hosting frequent organizational games with cash prizes and other rewards to be won. It will also introduce healthy food and snacks in the cafeteria and snacks vending machines.

Wellness program incentives

Wellness programs should make it easy for employees to report progress and should in turn offer incentives to motivate them to stay committed. Wellness incentives contribute significantly to the cost of the wellness program. They are however a very important way of increasing the effectiveness of a program. The program will therefore provide a range of incentives depending on the budget and the magnitude of the milestone achieved.

To get employees started, the program will provide employees with low cost incentives such as exercise clothes, pedometer, water bottles, elastic bands, low cost exercise equipment such as racquets and yoga mats. These incentives are cost less than $100 and will not inflate the cost of the program. For achievement of bigger milestones such as cessation of smoking habits, reductions of weight or cessation of gambling habits, the program will offer much more expensive incentives such as trips to tourist destinations, cash prizes, electronic rewards, family welfare programs such as tuition payment and home exercise equipment. These incentives cost more than $100 and will be a huge source of motivation.

Communication of wellness plan to employees

Communication of the wellness plan to the employees is when marketing of the wellness plan is done to the employees. This should be done in such a way that in encourage employees to take part in it and makes them want to lead a healthy lifestyle. The program director will ensure that the methods used to communicate the wellness plan are cost friendly and highly effective (Hart, Paetow & Zarzar, 2019). The plan will be communicated to the employees through sending them newsletters through emails with brief and clear information about the plan.

The coordinators of the program will also print flyers with information about the wellness plan and place them in strategic points in the organization premise. The flyers could be about a competitive race, walking races or cook-offs. In written material of the wellness plan, a hypothetical example will be used to bring out an image of the plans applicability in real life. This will attract employees to the plan. The committee will also host a brief impromptu meeting with the employees where a representative will introduce the wellness plan and the employees will get a chance to inquire about it.

Program Implementation

After outlining the vision of the wellness program to the relevant executives and employees at the company, establishing timelines for implementation requires focusing on both the long term and short term objectives for the program.

How, when, starting date

The plans will take effect one week after being given a heads up by the top executives and all other relevant stakeholders. The first action would be to offer healthy food products and drinks at all staff meetings. In other words, offering healthy options during such meetings is a vital step in ensuring that healthy eating behaviors are championed within the workspace. The healthy food program initiative is anticipated to be for a short term between 14th July 2020 and 13th July 2021. During this period, morning hour meetings that occur between 9- 11 am will have water that has been flavored with fresh cucumber and citrus pieces, which will be more appealing to workers as compared to unflavored water (Johnston, 2019). Moreover, breakfast meals will consist of fresh fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas. Apart from being healthy, serving fruits during morning meetings is also very budget friendly. For those who prefer yogurt, it will be low fat with numerous topping alternatives like fruits or sliced nuts.

The snacks offered at the company cafeteria will mostly consist of whole-grain crackers with peanut butter fillings that increase the fiber content in the meal. For lunch, the company could make use of locally available restaurants that provide options for low-calorie meals. For dessert, fresh fruits such as cherries and berries will be provided in place of conventional desserts to provide healthier options (Johnston, 2019).

Which Chronic diseases will be targeted?

This particular wellness program will target obesity and hypertension because the intervention is focused on implementing best practices that promote the welfare of the participating individuals.

Tell us about each one those diseases, why you choose them, and their cost (direct and indirect) to society 

Research indicates that workers dealing with obesity tend not showing up at work majority of the time. In such scenarios, the company runs the risk of losing out on the productivity of its employees, particularly because majority of workers in the firm are dealing with obesity more than any other chronic condition. Besides, obesity affects the ability of an employee to offer their best during working hours. For instance, obese workers have a higher probability of suffering from high blood pressure, back issues and sleep apnea. Thus, the company will suffer significant loss in productivity if their obese employees experience such conditions. Moreover, obese individuals have a high probability of sustaining injuries at work, which leads to limited productivity and heightened treatment costs.

Hypertension has also been targeted in the wellness program because the condition is mostly caused by lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and consumption of fast foods which are high in cholesterol. Moreover, the condition results from social and environmental determinants. Thus, hypertension increases the stress blood vessels by increasingly raising pressure.

The wellness program is designed to make the most of preventive measures and efficient management of the condition through providing team-based care and implementation of strategies efficient at managing the blood pressure of employees.

. What kind of activities you’ll develop to address those diseases.

Obesity will be tackled through conducting frequent counseling sessions with obese employees or individuals at risk of suffering from weight issues. The discussions will be centered around providing guidance on the best exercise routines and encouraging healthier eating habits, particularly at home (Mazur & Mazur-Małek, 2017). The healthy meals that will be provided by the company will be at a subsidized price in a bid to encourage workers to be more conscious of what they eat. Besides, any individual who works more than 40 hours every week on an office desk will be encouraged to participate in physical exercises in order to reduce chances of becoming obese, particularly for young employees (Richardsen, 2017). Additionally, company employees will be encouraged to participate in 15 minutes walking sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after lunch to encourage workers who need to be motivated. Most importantly, rewards in terms of free fitness training and cash prices for individuals who realize their fitness goals will be provided to encourage more employees to participate. Besides, contests between various departments within the company can be arranged in order to determine which one has realized their objectives (Richardsen, 2017). However, of importance is ensuring that the expectations set during this phase can be achieved by the workers in accordance to their level of physical fitness.

The wellness initiatives aims at preventing and managing hypertension in the company will include promoting healthier eating habits within the workplace setting to encourage lifestyle changes. Through partnering with local fitness centers and nutrition clinics, the firm will ensure that their employees get to access such services at a discounted rate to ensure that the health of the employees is prioritized (Richardsen, 2017). Such initiatives guarantee that emphasis is placed on nutritional and physical activity to manage hypertension and obesity. Most importantly, partnerships with health care facilities ensure that employees get to be frequently screened to evaluate the chances of workers being affected by the two chronic conditions. All these initiatives will be tailored according to the needs of the workers to ensure that they are efficient regardless of the ethnicity, age, gender and socio-economic status of the employees (De La Torre & Goetzel, 2016). Besides, the simplicity of the program makes it easy for me to explain to everyone so that no one is left out.

Write short health education lesson plans. What time of the day you’ll be offering them to the employees? Would you use health education videos? Would you invite expert speakers? Would you offer the classes? 

Health education is imperative as it ensures that the wellness program is effective in influencing positive outcomes. Tuesday and Thursday afternoon after lunch will be reserved for promoting health education in the company. Moreover, the health information will be presented through the use of slides and projectors in the conference room. By using videos, employees can be guided on the step to step actions that must be applied daily to ensure that employees get to comprehend the importance of maintaining healthier lifestyles through recommending physical exercises and nutritious diet. Experts on matters diet, nutrition and exercise will be invited regularly to provide insights and analysis of the various health issues affecting employees. Moreover, the experts would provide a continuous assessment regarding the efficacy of the wellness initiative and provide valuable advice regarding how the company can enhance capacity, what it should prioritize and provide a correct assessment of the specific needs of the workers in the firm (De La Torre & Goetzel, 2016). I would offer the health classes because it enhances the knowledge and skills of workers regarding health issues affecting them. The curriculum used will include the use materials in locations that participating workers deem convenient.

Cost of those activities.

This comprehensive wellness program must be implemented for the company to realize a positive return on investment. Moreover, the wellness program will incorporate incentives, continuous health risk assessment and behavior change initiatives. Thus, the wellness program will cost $ 70 per employee every year.

3. Program Evaluation

a. Utilization by employees 

Worker involvement is assessed from the initial point where are made aware of the program to the actual involvement in the initiative. To measure how employees have made use of the program, an assessment on the completion rates for physical exercises, health training initiatives, heath care evaluation and other everyday office functions (De La Torre & Goetzel, 2016).

b. Positive feedback from employees 

Employees will be handed with sample survey questionnaires for an evaluation of the performance of the wellness program and their level of satisfaction (Hart, Paetow & Zarzar, 2019). The questions will center on the level of fulfillment with the services offered, convenience of the program, the efficacy of the initiative and the positive experiences. Feedback is essential in determining how the wellness program can be enhanced in order to further promote healthier behaviors among workers.

c. Reduction of overall health insurance costs 

To assess if the program has managed to reduce the cost of health insurance, an evaluation of factors like heath care claims. Most importantly, top company executives will be able to predict financial savings on time through evaluating leading indicators such as commitment, medical observance and attainment of particular clinical targets (De La Torre & Goetzel, 2016).

The wellness program works efficiently to improve the health outcomes and well-being of the employees in office settings. As a result, the company will save a lot of money that would have been diverted in settling medical bills incurred by employees.

d. Overall improvement in employee satisfaction 

The wellness program evaluation process will assess the connection that exists between the program and their overall satisfaction with the initiative instituted by the company.

e. Requests for additional programs 

Any requests for additional health programs by employees will underscore the efficacy of the program in promoting the welfare and overall well-being of the employees at work.

g. Reduction in sick days and absentees 

Reduction in absenteeism will indicate that the wellness program has been effective in enhancing employee morale, thus enhancing their productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Employee’s likelihood to recommend the program 

The possibility of a worker to recommend the wellness program will stem from the benefits realized from participating in the initiative from its onset to the end of the evaluation process.

References

CDC. (2018, August 24). CDC Workplace Health Resource Center. Retrieved from CDC.gov: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/case-studies/engage-employees-health-wellness.html

CDC. (2020, January 22). Workplace Health Promotion. Retrieved from CDC.gov: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/tools-resources/workplace-health/assessment-tools.html

De La Torre, H., & Goetzel, R. (2016). How to design a corporate wellness plan that works. Harvard Business Review.

Hart, D., Paetow, G., & Zarzar, R. (2019). Does implementation of a corporate wellness initiative improve burnout?. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 20(1), 138.

Johnston, C. (2019). Retrospective Evaluation of a Dietitian-led Corporate Wellness Program.

Mattke, S., Liu, H., Caloyeras, J.P., Huang, C.Y., Busum, K.R. et al. (2013). Workplace Wellness Programs Study. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Mazur, B., & Mazur-Małek, M. (2017). Towards Corporate Wellness: Health Culture and Wellness Programs. Journal of Intercultural Management, 9(3), 45-61.

Passey, D., Hammerback, K.,Brown, M.C., Harris, J.R. (2018). Managers’ Support for Employee Wellness Programs: An Integrative Review. American journal of health promotion, 3-4.

Richardsen, A. M. (2017). Corporate wellness programs: do they increase employee well-being?. In Research Handbook on Work and Well-Being. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Wipfli, H., Zacharias, K.D., (Nivvy) Hundal, N. et al.(2018). Workplace wellness programming in low-and middle-income countries: a qualitative study of corporate key informants in Mexico and India. Globalization and Health .

WHO. (2018, February 5). WHO Ageing and health. Retrieved from World Health Organisation : https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health

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