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| Written by Shari Gulley, CMP, HMCC

Designing a Company Wellness Program amid a Pandemic

Company Wellness Survey Infograph

It’s been more than a year since the pandemic changed our world. M&IW saw an immediate need to keep employees motivated and healthy and thus started a Company Wellness Program. The transformations caused by COVID-19 were quickly piling on new pressures and hurdles to everyone’s daily routines. It drastically changed everything about how we work, including the kind of support employees needed.

We had to re-think what wellness would mean during COVID-19 so the first step was to Create a Mission. Since everyone was working from home and on lockdown, added by the fact that virtual/work from home may be around for a while, we agreed on the following mission: create resources and virtual wellness challenges for participating employees, motivating them to lead an improved life. To assist employees with developing new habits across the entire spectrum of wellness: physical, emotional, financial, occupational, and social.  All driven by purpose. 

Once we had our mission in place, we wanted to give employees a voice so we asked them where they currently are in their lives with wellness, what they would enjoy seeing in a program, and their willingness to participate by Conducting an Assessment and found the following results:

  • 73% are lightly active to active
  • 54% rate themselves as having a good diet; 31.52% as fair
  • 50% are open to fitting in health and wellness activities whenever they can or combination of before/during/after work
  • 74% wear trackers/use app trackers
  • Most use friends and family to help motivate them to achieving wellness goals as well as trackers
  • Most do not have barriers to engage in wellness; some say times are inconvenient or feel unmotivated
  • Most are open to receiving wellness info via recorded classes, company share point info, and live classes
  • 62% say they will sign up for the wellness challenges
  • Employees ranked what they want to see in a program with physical, financial, reducing stress as top 3 priorities

Those findings allowed us to properly Tailor a Program to fit our employee’s needs. We utilized and prioritized the data to compile monthly programs, newsletters, online resources, webinars, and more.  Each month, we focused on one specific dimension of wellness.

For example, in the PHYSICAL category, we offered a sports distance challenge where employees log their walk/run/row/bike miles. We added a give-back component by teaming up with Charity Miles and offered a company-sponsored incentive for the top winner.  For FINANCIAL, we offered multiple webinars focusing on financial management, retirement income, smart money moves in your 20’s and 30’s and retirement healthcare.  All were sponsored by M&IW’s financial partner.

Another vital step to an effective program was to Provide Ongoing Communication on how to market the program and ensure participation.  We developed several techniques such as creating a specific company share point site devoted to Wellness resources, calendar appointments, and more.  We designed a logo and a dedicated email address just for the program. From there, it was all about repetition, monthly check in’s and keeping the message fresh and new.

As with any new project, evaluating the effectiveness of the wellness program was vital in sustaining management, employee support, and revising or implementing new programs so we Launched a Follow-up Survey a year later and measured how well we were doing and how we can continue to add value.

Other important steps to creating an effective Company Wellness Program along the way included: obtaining management support, establishing a committee, developing goals and objectives, and presenting a budget for approval.

Given the challenges in work and home life we are all facing during these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to prioritize your employees’ health and wellbeing. Now is the best time to connect with your employees by designing a customized virtual wellness program that reaches everyone no matter where the office resides. 


For more information about designing a wellness program from scratch or incorporating wellness activities into an upcoming event, contact Shari Gulley, CMP, HMCC at wellness@meetings-incentives.com.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Wellbeing Reset Workshop on May 11, 2021, featuring Heather Crider, NeuroCoach, and High-Performance Mindset Specialist.

Corporate Wellness Program