This article appeared in print as part of “Doing Well: What’s the Real Value of Employee Wellness”

In a 2010 Harvard Business Review article, researchers studied 10 large companies identified six factors that lead to a successful wellness program. We’ve got them right here for you:


Multilevel Leadership

Companies must designate wellness advocates in each level of leadership, including the C-suite, middle management, and lower-level employees.


A company should build a wellness program that fits in with its overall identity and aspirations.

Scope, Relevance, and Quality

Wellness programs should be comprehensive and offer a clear benefit to employees, or else they won’t participate.


Focus on offering no-cost benefits and on-site integration.Make the program as convenient as possible.


Find community partners, including vendors, who can provide some components of your wellness program or enhance what you already offer.


Make sure you have different ways of getting the word out to employees — simply sending emails won’t do.

Bonus Tip

Focus on offering benefits, not threatening consequences. You can land in ethical and legal trouble if you penalize employees for not participating in your wellness program.

Recent News

A Legacy for Columbia’s Future

Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...

Kevin Crane, Circuit Judge, Circuit 13 Division 3

Bio: I was born in 1961 at Boone County Hospital to Laura Pace Crane, a librarian, and Thomas E. Crane, a rural letter carrier....

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, United States Representative District 4

Bio: I represent Missouri’s 4th Congressional District. I currently serve on the House Agriculture and Armed Services Committees, and I am the Chairwoman of...

Finley Gibbs, Candidate for 13th Circuit Judge, Division I

Bio: I live in Columbia and have been married for 30 years to Becky. We have two sons in their 20’s. I graduated from...

The Birds Have Landed

Evaluating the conditions of using Bird scooters. Last week, Jonathan Sessions and I were walking through the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a...