Many companies have random and intermittent wellness activities, which are usually independent of each other and are short puzzle1term oriented. Far fewer companies have sustainable wellness programs resulting in changing behavior, lowering health risks and providing a positive economic return.

The key to having the later is making the effort to have an Administrative Infrastructure in place for the wellness program.  Administrative Infrastructure refers to the assortment of personnel, policies, procedures, and resources in place to support the wellness program.  This type of structure is required to bring about long-term cultural and organizational change.

Think of the infrastructure as the core pieces of your program. There are 16 key components, which make up a complete administrative infrastructure.

Program Design

–       A design team is established to help create the initial design of the program.

–       Budget planning

–       Proposals

–       Vendors

–       Wellness program work plan (what are the activities, who is responsible)

–       Program Brand (should include a logo and tag line)

–       Program Goals

–       Program Objectives

–       Ongoing evaluation

Program Operations

Staff

–       Wellness Program Coordinator or Manager

–       Wellness Advisory group (to make decisions, approve budgets)

–       Support Staff (admin, health coaches, educators etc.

–       Employees wellness network (the feet on the ground to help coordinate)

–       Ad hoc teams (as needed for special projects)

Internal System Support

–       Email support

–       Wellness Website

Not all organizations will have all components.  The larger the organization, the more complete the infrastructure will need to be.  Regardless of the size of your organization, if your wellness program is not achieving measurable results, take a hard look and ask the question – Do you have only wellness activities or do you have a solid plan and the pieces in place to implement that plan?  Then take a look at each of the 16 elements, and see what is missing and can be incorporated into your program. The good news is you don’t have to implement everything at once.  Infrastructure should be built in phases and should change over time.  As your wellness program matures the infrastructure should mature right along with it.

Source: Chapman, L. (2009). Building a Sustainable Administrative Infrastructure for Worksite Health Programs. The Art of Health Promotion, November/December 2009

 

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