Wellness programs improve the health, wellness, and productivity of company employees. If you want to implement effective wellness programs in your organization, you need to establish programs that target the health challenges of your employees. A wellness program administrator can assist you in this effort.

The Primary Duties and Benefits of a Wellness Program Administrator

The primary job of a wellness program administrator is to create wellness programs that improve employee health and motivate employees to become more productive at their jobs. Since employees face different health challenges in every company, the wellness programs must specifically target each of their unique health challenges.

What Are the Qualifications of a Wellness Program Administrator?

A wellness program administrator must possess professional qualifications and credentials before advising a company on wellness. These qualifications include:

  • Minimum Education: Four-year degree / Bachelor’s degree
  • The degree major must be in a health-related field (e.g., public health, health sciences, exercise science, etc.)
  • Work experience in a health-related field
  • Professional associations and partnerships (e.g., National Commission for Health Education Credentialing)

Wellness programs are not all about diet and exercise management. Instead, you can target several areas of employee health beyond physical health. Some examples of employee health include:

  • Financial health (e.g., income amount, retirement, etc.)
  • Mental health (e.g., stress management, anger management)
  • Physical health (e.g., nutrition, exercise)
  • Emotional health (e.g., rewards, job satisfaction)

A good wellness program administrator should have some expertise in each area of employee health.

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The Primary Duties of a Wellness Program Administrator

A wellness program administrator may work as an independent contractor or company employee, depending on the level of need for their services. Either way, the wellness program administrator is vital for improving employee wellness and workplace productivity.

Below are the top 5 primary duties of a wellness program administrator.

1) Health and Wellness Assessment of the Company

The wellness program administrator starts by conducting a comprehensive workplace wellness assessment to learn about the company’s current employee health and wellness challenges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed the following elements influencing workplace health:

Employees with existing physical and mental health challenges, such as:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • stress
  • depression
Health and Wellness Assessment of the Company

Employees’ interpersonal relationships with other people, such as:

  • coworkers
  • managers
  • bosses
  • mentors
  • friends
  • family members

The current workplace organizational structure, including:

  • company policies
  • practices
  • employee benefit programs
  • leadership
  • health and safety initiatives

The current physical workplace conditions and environmental opportunities, such as:

  • the existing hazards
  • equipment
  • wellness programs
  • employee support groups
  • rewards
  • opportunities for advancement

The wellness program administrator will use these elements as a general model for the health and wellness assessment of the company.

Assessments are carried out by examining the following pieces of data:

  • Observing the workplace setting
  • Safety inspections
  • Conducting interviews with the employees and managers
  • Reviewing health insurance claims made by employees
  • Checking the health benefits and wellness programs offered by the employer
  • Reviewing the number of employee injuries and workers’ compensation claims filed
  • Having employees fill out surveys to determine employee satisfaction, safety, health risks, etc.
  • Examining the number of employee absences

A final assessment report will get made after all this information is collected. The assessment results show which areas of employee health need to get addressed.

RELATED: What is Workplace Wellness? A Complete Guide

2) Create an Employee Health and Wellness Plan

The next step is to create a plan addressing the health needs of the employees. The elements of an all-inclusive employee health and wellness plan include:

  • A list of wellness programs recommended
  • A layout or roadmap of each wellness program
  • All the identified health hazards and risks in the organization
  • The most significant health risks and conditions facing employees
  • Recommendations to leaders, managers, and employers about how to implement the wellness programs in their companies
  • An explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the coordinators and managers overseeing the wellness programs
  • An easy line of communication between the wellness program administrator and employers

Each company’s plan will be unique and different based on the assessment results. A qualified wellness program administrator is the best chance you’ll have of creating relevant wellness programs for your employees.

RELATED: How to Design an Employee Wellness Plan That Works in 2023

What Are the Qualifications of a Wellness Program Administrator?

3) Create the Employee Wellness Programs

If the leadership has agreed to the plan, the next step is for the wellness program administrator to create the programs recommended for the organization.

Creating employee wellness programs requires additional strategizing and planning to ensure employees are receptive to them. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult if addressing the issues which matter the most to your employees.

Here are some tips for installing new wellness programs and policies into the organization:

  • Use the wellness plan as a guide for establishing the most useful and helpful employee wellness programs.
  • Implement sustainable policies for your employees which replace outdated company policies.
  • Create designated spaces in the organization for promoting health and wellness.
  • Make sure the employee wellness programs are within the budget of the company.
  • Establish a wellness committee or team to manage the wellness programs for the employees.
  • Set up a schedule of planned events and activities corresponding to the wellness programs.
  • Offer several wellness programs to address your employees’ multiple health issues. All your employees may not have the same health needs.

The wellness program administrator and company leadership should work together to create these programs and set up the necessary wellness committees.

RELATED: How to Create Company Wellness Programs for Millennials in 5 Simple Steps

4) Encourage Employees to Participate in the Wellness Programs

Some employees may need extra encouragement before they willfully participate in wellness programs. Even though the programs benefit them, they could require additional persuasion and incentives before developing the motivation to participate.

A wellness program administrator could take the following actions to encourage and motivate your employees:

  • Assign the job of wellness coordinator to a manager or other employee in the organization.
    • The coordinator’s responsibilities include advertising the wellness programs, organizing wellness events, guiding employees, and other actions to stir up excitement amongst employees.
  • Introduce wellness programs to individual employees who can benefit the most from them.
    • Different wellness programs may be introduced to different employees based on their health needs.
  • Offer rewards and incentives to employees in exchange for their participation in the wellness programs.
    • Examples of rewards include gift cards, gym membership discounts, free meals, etc.
  • Send emails and newsletters to employees to remind them about the wellness programs available in the organization.
  • Conduct group activities where employees participate in wellness programs and encourage each other.
courage Employees to Participate in the Wellness Programs

The administrator doesn’t have to monitor everything all the time. The wellness committee can be comprised of multiple employees to oversee the programs and make any desired changes they want.

RELATED: Wellness Program Incentives: The Complete Guide for 2023

5) Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Wellness Programs

The wellness program administrator must now evaluate the effectiveness of the employee wellness programs put in place in the organization.

The effectiveness is measured by examining the following changes in the workplace:

  • Employee productivity
  • Employee physical and mental health
  • Company healthcare costs
  • Employee turnover vs. retention
  • The number of talented and skilled employees getting hired
  • The number of workplace injuries and deaths
  • Absenteeism
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Employee engagement

Effective wellness programs would increase employee productivity, physical & mental health, talent, satisfaction, and engagement.

Ineffective wellness programs would decrease these areas while increasing absenteeism, workplace injuries, turnover, and healthcare costs.

RELATED: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Evaluate a Wellness Program in 2023

The Primary Benefits of a Wellness Program Administrator

There are only positive reasons to hire a wellness program administrator.

If your employees are struggling with their health and productivity, investing in the services of a wellness program administrator could be the only solution for turning things around.

Here are the primary benefits of hiring a wellness program administrator for any organization.

1) Increases Employee Productivity

Workplace productivity refers to how much work your employees can complete within a specific time period. Healthy employees are more productive because they are well-rested, full of energy, and ultimately motivated.

Here are all the factors that go into higher employee productivity:

  • Minimal or zero health issues facing employees
  • Access to innovative tools and equipment to simplify the work and make it safer
  • A safer and well-organized work environment
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Learning and training opportunities
  • Open communication between employees and management
  • Rewards programs for top-producing employees

The administrator understands the correlation between increased workplace productivity and wellness programs. They will implement the proper wellness programs that will allow your employees to experience these benefits in the workplace.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know to Increase Employee Productivity

2) Reduces Employee Turnover

A 2018 Forbes article stated that 87% of employees stay with companies because of their wellness programs.

The Primary Benefits of a Wellness Program Administrato

Your wellness program administrator will help you improve employee attendance by eliminating all the possible excuses for absenteeism. As a result, employee absenteeism will be a thing of the past.

Your wellness program administrator will help you improve employee attendance by eliminating all the possible excuses for absenteeism.

The administrator’s wellness programs will reduce employee turnover by:

  • Increasing employee job satisfaction
  • Improving employee engagement in the workplace
  • Helping to develop a strong bond between employers and employees
  • Offering better healthcare benefits to employees
  • Reducing employee stress and anxiety
  • Create a more beautiful work environment with plants and window space
  • Introducing fun employee wellness activities in the workplace
  • More socializing opportunities for employees
  • Additional financial incentives and benefits
  • Career advancement opportunities

Employees won’t want to leave you if the workplace program administrator addresses their physical, mental, social, and financial health needs.

RELATED: How Wellness Programs Increase Employee Retention in the Workplace

3) Reduces Healthcare Costs

Roughly 49% of Americans have group health insurance (employer-sponsored health insurance). The average employee with group health insurance pays $3,331 annually for their health insurance premiums.

A wellness program administrator finds ways to reduce employee healthcare costs, such as lowering their premiums and the number of healthcare services needed. Sometimes their wellness programs give employees the confidence to drop their insurance entirely.

Here are the ways an administrator can help reduce employee healthcare costs:

  • Address unhealthy employee behaviors
  • Establish healthcare cost transparency for employees
  • Create disease management programs
  • Create weight management programs
  • Build on-site healthcare clinics
  • Offer high deductible health insurance plans
  • Suggest federal healthcare exchange coverage (healthcare.gov)
  • Negotiate better insurance rates with carriers

As you can see, a small investment in a wellness program administrator and wellness programs can save your company and employees even more money in the long run.

RELATED: How Effective Workplace Health Programs Reduce Health Care Costs 2023

Reduces Healthcare Costs

4) Attracts More Talented Employees

Do you need to attract more talented employees to your company?

A wellness program administrator can spread the word about your new employee wellness programs and their benefits. It won’t take long before highly skilled job candidates come to your company to seek employment.

Here are some of the administrator strategies for attracting talent:

  • Creating a solid company objective and message
  • Establishing a company culture of success and productivity
  • Treating employees with dignity and respect
  • Attractive employee benefits and rewards
  • Generous employee wages and salaries
  • Opportunities for career advancement
  • Paid training programs
  • Actively communicate with professional people on social media

Many talented people are looking for suitable career opportunities. Your administrator will help you attract them.

5) Improves Employee Attendance and Morale

High absenteeism is the result of unhappy employees. Employee attendance and morale go hand-in-hand. If you have employees who are satisfied and happy at their jobs, they will want to attend as often as possible.

A wellness program administrator will first detect employees who:

  • Call out from work frequently; high absenteeism
  • Produces low-quality work
  • Lacks the motivation to succeed
  • Finishes tasks and projects behind schedule

Now here is how the administrator strives to overcome these issues:

  • Find ways to make employees feel valued
  • Encourage teamwork and social collaboration amongst employees
  • Offer wellness programs to address employee health issues
  • Provide rewards and incentives to hard-working employees
  • A positive company culture

The administrator will know how to give employees what they need, so they’ll have no reason to want to leave or stay away.

RELATED: How Wellness Programs Help Improve Employee Morale

Final Thoughts on the Role of a Wellness Program Administrator

What is the current level of wellness in your organizational environment? Take this short survey to help figure out which policy and environmental changes you need within your workplace a we’ll be happy to help you fill in the gaps.

About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.