Step 6: Design and Implement Policies and Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define health-related policies as formal or informal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health. Supportive workplace health policies affect large groups of workers simultaneously and make adopting healthy behaviors much easier. They can also create and foster a company culture of health.

The CDC recommends that it may be prudent for organizations to focus on one or two policies and programs at first and build on early successes, rather than implement several interventions with insufficient resources. Also, many effective interventions such as health-related policy changes exist that are low-cost, which is especially important for small-and-medium-sized employers that may not have extensive resources to dedicate to employee health.

The CDC has a variety of resources available for employers, including same policies for the following health topics3

Sample Policies and Programs

For a comprehensive matrix of sample policy areas, programs and environmental supports, download our Sample Wellness Policies and Programs (PDF). Samples have been separated by health topic area (tobacco cessation, diet and nutrition, physical activity, etc.) and they have been divided into three categories – Basic, Value-Added, Best-in-Class – based on the estimated difficulty and/or cost to implement.

When implementing policies and programs, consider what existing policies and resources currently exist and/or can be expanded, as well as which new ones can be developed. Also, while designing and implementing policies/programs, consider how their impact will be monitored and evaluated. Be sure to consider the “3-pronged approach” that suggests implementing policies, programs and environmental supports that complement one another in order to maximize impact. Lastly, employers implementing any new policies or programs need to ensure a communication approach is clearly defined in order to ensure employees are well informed and can support each other in complying with or participating in the initiative.

» Looking for additional information or examples? Refer to:
DE Screening for Life
American Cancer Society Workplace Solutions
Families USA Wellness Programs Profiles (PDF)
The Northern California Center for Well-Being
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Programming for Your Worksite Guide (PDF)