Successful and sustainable worksite wellness programs do make a difference. You do want your program to make a difference don’t you?Key #1 – Set the StageMake sure your program has a clear purpose. Your program’s purpose should be your program’s big “Why.” Be clear as to: Why are you establishing a program? What do you desire to accomplish? You can have a primary purpose, along with secondary purposes. Just be sure you are clear about the “Why”behind each purpose.Be sure your program also has vision and mission statements. Your vision statement should be a picture of your program at some time in the future. It helps to set your program’s direction. Your mission statement establishes the framework of your program. It is a statement about your purpose, the program’s scope, the program’s direction and the program’s target audience. Your mission statement should also reflect the program’s values and priorities. Your program’s mission statement should also link to your organization’s mission statement.Key #2 – Assess Your SituationIdentify the needs and wants of senior leaders, management and employees. Access existing aggregate health and other employee related data, as well as benefit plans/program data. Review the data you collected and determine if you need any additional data, what it might be and then establish a plan to collect it. Identify currently available resources from existing programs and resources. Are there any resources you can immediately tap into? Once you have all the data collected, review and analyze it. What pictures are emerging?Key #3 – Get Everyone AlignedShare the results of your analysis with everyone. Get everyone involved. Help them to see the current picture. Start discussions about what to do next. What might the way forward look like? Get agreement of a future course and get everyone aligned with the proposed direction.Key #4 – Consider Your Program’s Infrastructure NeedsIdentify what your program will need for an infrastructure. Consider creating a wellness team and wellness champions. Identify who will be the program’s leaders.Key #5 – Build Your Program’s PlanDevelop a strategic plan and a one year (Annual) operating plan. Design your program around your purpose, vision and mission. Determine how you will address awareness, education, lifestyle change and organizational change within your program. Make sure that your program’s goals and objectives are aligned, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive. Be sure you know the resources you will have available to you, including budget and other organizational resources. Are your available resources adequate enough to achieve your stated purpose and goals?With your goals in mind, review potential programming/interventions. When considering which programming or interventions to use, decide if accepted best practice or evidence based programming/interventions or a mixture of both, would work best for you. In your annual operating plan, establish timelines for each of your programming/interventions, activities and events. Also determine who will be responsible for what.Key #6 – Implement Your Annual Operating PlanBe sure to follow your plan and don’t get sucked into doing the latest fad or “hot topic.” Make sure you create a marketing/communication plan for each of your planned interventions, activities and events.Monitor the progress of your implementation. Are you on schedule? Are you reaching your target audience? How is the target market responding? How is your program’s reach doing? Are you reaching your intended specific audience?Key #7 – Always Evaluate Your EffortsBe sure to measure everything you do. Have at least one measurement for each intervention, activity and event. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Use your measurements to continually improve upon or change your plans and interventions, activities and events. Consider using both qualitative and quantitative evaluation strategies. While numbers are important, don’t overlook success stories and testimonials. Everyone loves a success story.It is OK to start your evaluations small. Measure things like your program’s outputs and changes in employee participation levels, participant satisfaction and changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. You can also measure changes in employee health risks. As your program matures, you can begin to measure things like outcomes, impacts and the value your program delivers to the employer.Be sure to periodically share your evaluation results with senior leaders and everyone else in the organization.As a worksite wellness coordinator, these 7 keys will help you create a successful and sustainable worksite wellness and well-being program.