Finding an individual to guide your organization in starting a Employee Wellness Plan
Without a qualified Employee Wellness Plan coordinator to guide and manage your organization’s creation of a culture of wellness, efforts can be scattered and momentum can stall. While it’s essential that the creation of a culture of wellness be someone’s priority, not all organizations need a full-time coordinator. There are a number of ways to secure the time of a qualified coordinator.
Be careful not to confuse Employee Wellness Plan skills with fitness skills. You are not looking for a personal trainer or a nutritionist to run your Employee Wellness Program. The following are good indications that an individual may be qualified to be a Employee Wellness Plan coordinator:
- knowledge of community health, population health and worksite Employee Wellness Programs
- experience working with and understanding aggregate data, preferably Employee Wellness Plan data
- experience managing projects, including developing timelines and facilitating meetings
- experience in strategic planning, including defining goals and related objectives
- ability to understand, and use the findings of, journal articles on effective Employee Wellness Plan Strategies.
What will a Employee Wellness Plan coordinator do?
The Employee Wellness Plan coordinator is responsible for guiding a process that creates workplace facilities, policies and practices that promote health. The individual may do some of all of the following for your Employee Wellness Program:
- act as a liaison between upper management and the Employee Wellness Plan employee advisory work group
- interpret health-related data on your Employee Wellness Plan
- create and manage work plans and budgets for implementation of selected Employee Wellness Plan Strategies
- facilitate Health Promotion Committee meetings
- guide your organization in setting measurable objectives for the Employee Wellness Plan
- recommend effective Employee Wellness Plan Strategies, using the evidence in the health behavior literature and national and/or recommended best practices
- document and report short-term and long-term progress on Employee Wellness Plan Strategies and objectives.
Where can we find a qualified Employee Wellness Plan coordinator?
Consider the following when looking for a Employee Wellness Plan coordinator:
- Existing staff members: Are there individuals on staff members who have the background, or are interested in gaining the skills, to serve as a Employee Wellness Plan coordinator? Is it possible to dedicate a portion of someone’s time (e.g., .5 FTE) to the position of coordinating your organization’s Employee Wellness Plan Strategies? If possible, budget enough to cover not only salary but also continued learning, journal subscriptions and membership fees for this Employee Wellness Plan position.
- New staff members – Can you hire an individual to be your organization’s Employee Wellness Plan coordinator? Would it need to be a full-time position, or would part-time be sufficient?
- Employee Wellness Plan Consultation – Various organizations (e.g., health plans, benefit consultants and public health departments) provide Employee Wellness Plan consultation on building a culture of wellness within a workplace.
An outside Employee Wellness Plan consultant can advise an internal Employee Wellness Plan coordinator and your Health Promotion Committee on setting priorities and determining Strategies. Or, you can contract with a Employee Wellness Plan consultant to be your coordinator. If you go with the latter approach, you’ll want to contract with the individual for sufficient hours to carry out all of the responsibilities associated with coordinating an effective strategy.