A proven process for developing and implementing a successful workplace health & wellness program September 14th, 2012, by Ken Buckley

You know you need a better workplace health and wellness program, and you know the end result you want – healthier, more productive employees with reduced absenteeism and presenteeism costs.

But getting to that end result can often feel quite overwhelming.

If you’re like many HR and WHS managers, you probably feel a great deal of stress around your health and safety program, afterall, it’s often your reputation on the line.

There are so many options, so many variables, so many what ifs.

If only there was a proven step-by-step process for success.

Well, actually, there is. There’s a proven, 4 step system for developing and implementing a successful workplace health and wellness program.

This system is based on the research and experience of two of the world’s leading corporate health experts,  Dr. Steven Aldana and Dr. Troy Adams*, and here it is:

 1. Prepare

2. Assess

3. Plan and implement 

4. Evaluate

Too often, organisations jump straight to number 3, planning and implementing, and skip over the essential preparation and assessment steps.

In this blog, we’ll outline these steps in a little more detail. Over the forthcoming blogs, we’ll walk you through each step in detail, so you know exactly what you need to do to create a successful program for your workplace.

Let’s look at each of these steps a little closer.

 Step 1: Prepare

This is all about garnering support. No matter how hard you work, how perfectly timed your strategy, without top-to-bottom support, you will not achieve success.

  1. Obtain employer, or leadership, support
  2. Obtain employee support.

Employee support is gained through the 3 Cs: This involves developing a Committee, identifying and empowering a Coordinator and identifying Champions.

We’ll show you how to gain leadership support in our next blog.

Step 2: Assess

What are your current problems? Your organisation’s strengths and potential barriers? How will you know when they are fixed?

We assess the situation in two ways:

1. Assess employee behaviour

2. Assess company culture

Employee behaviour refers to each person’s health and lifestyle behaviour – not just their physical heath, but their emotional health, their relationships, how supported they feel. We assess this through a comprehensive Personal Health Assessment, or PHA.

Company culture assessment looks at the psychological norms and values collectively held by your organisation, along with policies and practices. What is the “way we do things around here”, and is it a healthy way? You can then implement some targeted culture change strategies, to make it easier for your employees to become and stay healthy at work.

 Step 3: Plan and implement

With all this data and research in hand, you’re now ready to start to plan and rollout the most appropriate health and wellness activities for your unique needs.

We have a simple model for this, developed by Michael O’Donnell – Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Health Promotion  and Editor of the book, Health Promotion in the Workplace.


Step 4: Evaluate

How successful were you? What can you build on next year? Here you need to look at data such as:

  • Participation and satisfaction
  • Change in behaviour and health risks
  • Change in productivity
  • Return on investment.

In next week’s blog, we show you how to achieve the first part of step 1: how to demonstrate leadership support for your health and wellness program.


Healthworks’ new WellSteps system for workplace health and gives you a straightforward, proven system for achieving each of these steps. WellSteps is proven to create real behaviour change and culture change to improve your employee’s health, wellness and productivity. Call us on 1300 90 10 90, or contact us to find out more.


(*Dr Aldana and Dr. Adams are founders of the WellSteps system, which Healthworks is introducing throughout Australia.)

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