by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

The only thing that justifies a wellness program’s existence is meeting the organization’s goals. Unfortunately, those goals aren’t always known or aren’t communicated effectively.

Getting a handle on these goals is straightforward, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The pace of change in today’s organizations can be dizzying. To be sure you’re staying on top of your mission, consider these steps:

  • Comprehensive needs assessment. If you’re waiting 5 years between employee surveys, you’re waiting too long — you’ll miss important changes. Plan to conduct a needs analysis every 2-3 years that includes an employee interest component, management survey and interviews, and if you serve dependents, a way to gather data on family needs.
  • Ongoing feedback. Each service needs a way for participants to provide feedback and an established response protocol.
  • Turnover. If you use a committee or network of supporters to expand your efforts, be sure there’s a way to move people in and out of the role in 6-18 months. Keeping the same folks on a committee can lead to group-think, and if the group thinks differently than the rest of the organization you’re sure to miss the mark with your services.

Sometimes, success can lead to isolation. Great response to a program, a record year for participation, and full exercise facilities can lull you into the belief you can develop and implement without assessing needs. Avoid this success pitfall by creating a systematic way to evaluate and respond to changing needs for years of successful programming and ever-improving organization health.

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