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The Health and Wellness Industry FAQ: Small Budget – What Should I Do First?

Wellness Exists at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration.

To live  there, You Must First Choose to Move Out of the Village of Someday…


Over the years I’ve been asked a number of questions about the health and wellness industry. This is question #8 of the top 10 most frequently asked questions. The responses are, of course, neither right nor wrong. They are simply my impressions from over 35 years of field experience.

QUESTION #8: “If you had the barest of budgets but were charged with the responsibility of improving employee health, what activity or initiative would be number one on your list?”

RESPONSE: I strongly believe that hours spent at the workplace are the easiest to design and control. With the stroke of a pen a CEO can create a:

As a CEO, I may not be able to dictate what you do the other sixteen hours but I can certainly shape the environment and promote a healthy agenda when it’s on my time and my dime. When you’re in charge, you get to make the rules.

Today’s CEO gets to call the shots. If they want Free-Fruit-Fridays and a smoke-free campus, all they have to do is say so. As long as they conform to the letter of the law (and, in a union shop, provisions agreed to in collective bargaining) corporate rulers get to rule, absolutely. Healthy food in cafeterias, safe and inviting stairwells, health awareness campaigns and flu clinics are easy to administer and the cost is minimal. Creating a smoke-free campus and banning sugar sodas, candy dishes and high-sugar-high-fat celebration “treats” costs nothing more than the courage and conviction needed to make it so.

So, my answer is, “Create a Healthy Corporate Culture.” Now, if you have additional dollars, here are numbers two through ten:

2.  Personal Health Surveys, Biometric Screenings and Follow-Up Counseling

3.  Healthy Heart Awareness, Education and Intervention Classes

  • nutrition and weight control (both over and under weight)
  • exercise (yoga, stretching, aerobics, light resistance)
  • stress management
  • tobacco cessation

4.  Link Insurance Premium Contribution to Wellness Activities and Metrics

5.  Employer Sponsored Healthy Competition Campaigns

6.  Subsidizing Fitness Club Memberships

7.  Healthy Employee Recognitions and Rewards

8.  Financial Management

9.   Healthy Babies and Parenting Skills

10. On-Site Fitness Center

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