Creating a Employee Wellness Plan need not be expensive, but will require the commitment of some financial resources. If possible, include the Employee Wellness Plan in your organization’s annual business plan and budget as you do for other efforts important to your organization’s success.
How much to budget for the Employee Wellness Program?
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for starting a Employee Wellness Plan that results in improved employee health. Organizations differ in how much money they need and how much they can make available for the Employee Wellness Program. Consider the following common expenses in developing an adequate Employee Wellness Plan budget:
- Employee Wellness Plan staffing costs (either internal salaries or consultant fees)
- Employee Wellness Plan data collection costs (including health risk assessment costs, if relevant)
- Employee Wellness Plan rewards for healthy behaviors (such as discounts on premiums for non-smokers)
- Costs of Employee Wellness Plan Strategies to be implemented (such as costs of covering tobacco quit medications or costs of subsidizing healthy foods in the cafeteria or vending machines)
- Employee Wellness Plan administrative and communications expenses
In times of tight finances, be prepared to justify your requested Employee Wellness Plan budget. Arm yourself with data on potential short- and long-term outcomes of the proposed Employee Wellness Plan Strategies. Itemize the Employee Wellness Plan expenses of past initiatives and share projected expenses for initiatives planned for the upcoming year.
Sustaining Employee Wellness Plan Financing
A dedicated Employee Wellness Plan line item in your organization’s budget makes it more likely to be regarded as a need, rather than as a “nice-to-have” amenity that could be cut when funds run low.
One of the best Strategies for ensuring continued financial support for the Employee Wellness Plan is frequent communication to upper management, including:
- How many staff members have you reached through the Employee Wellness Program? Has morale improved? Have health risks decreased, e.g., fewer staff members using tobacco, more staff members active?
- How well are you managing the Employee Wellness Plan resources you’ve been given? Where and how has your budget been spent? Keep track of the staff time required for each initiative and be able to present the numbers at any time.
- Anecdotal Employee Wellness Plan success stories from staff members. Don’t underestimate the power of a good story to put a human face on your success.
Supplemental sources of Employee Wellness Plan Financing
If necessary, have the individuals responsible for starting a Employee Wellness Plan look for ways to supplement available internal funds. Are there grants or other funding available that can help support your Employee Wellness Plan ? What community Employee Wellness Plan resources could you use to meet some of your needs?