Original post benefitspro.com

When employers launch a robust employee health program, too often corporate wellness becomes another job for someone who already has a full range of responsibilities.

That’s why it’s crucial to have someone “on the ground” who owns health and wellness and can in turn play an active role in building a successful health management program.

We see the benefits of providing an on-site wellness presence. Our client sites that have a dedicated on-site program manager enjoy a 33 percent higher participation rate compared to similar programs that don’t include an on-site manager.

The benefits of having an on-site wellness program manager include the following:

  • Screening participation: 58 percent increase
  • Health advising participation: 43 percent increase
  • Coaching enrollment participation: 21 percent increase

In addition to on-site program managers, here are three ways our clients inspire employee wellness with on-site solutions—and how this option might make sense for your organization.

1. Drive engagement with health advocates

To meet the needs of more than 12,000 employees in 18 locations at a leading automotive parts manufacturer, my employer HealthFitness provides six on-site health promotion coordinators and eight full-time benefits advocates to help employees and their families navigate the health care system.

On-site advocates serve as corporate wellness navigators and answer questions employees may have related to their benefits—from how the medical plan works to how to earn incentives.

Advocates work as a touch point for employees—whether they meet before, after or during shift breaks.


Support from on-site benefit advocates has paid off in providing real results for both employees and the company.

  • 48,000 benefit advocacy contacts driving referrals to benefit providers
  • 6.2 percent year-over-year reduction in health risks
  • 93 percent completion rate of health assessments and screening for employees and spouses

2. Activate boots on the ground

To build rapport with the manufacturing population at a leading producer of agricultural products, our on-site staff regularly meets employees where they are—donning steel-toe boots and protective gear to join them in the field, safety meetings, or break rooms.

Our on-site presence lets them know we are here for them and are committed to their health.

For example, to make it easier for employees to participate in wellness activities such as screenings, on-site staff are scheduled to work early hours (from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m.), giving workers the opportunity to participate in blood pressure screenings without leaving the worksite.

The mindset of ‘we bring the program to you’ is essential to program participation success.


  • 11.3 percent decrease in average number of high health risks from 22.47 to 2.19 among 2,400 participants.
  • 97 percent of participants were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their on-site biometric screening event.
  • 63 percent of employees participated in one or more lifestyle management programs in 2013.

3. Build a network of on-site wellness champions

Our on-site program manager leverages a wellness champion network of more than 30 employees to meet the needs of 12,000 employees at an agricultural and construction equipment leader.

Wellness champions build employee awareness and increase engagement in corporate wellness programs.

Employees at 20 sites throughout the country turn to the wellness champions as a resource, to share ideas and ask questions. Wellness champions also represent employees during ongoing conference calls and help ensure health and wellness continues to be part of their daily routines.


  • 85.3 percent of the employee population has participated in at least one health management activity.
  • 43.1 percent participation in a walking program that challenges employees to walk 10,000 steps a day.
  • 21.1 percent participation in health coaching so employees can develop an individual, confidential plan to help them reach their health goals.