How to Build a Wellness Program at Your Small Law Firm

/, Wellness/How to Build a Wellness Program at Your Small Law Firm

Today, organizations are beginning to realize the importance of investing in employees’ health proactively, not just when they need medical treatment. Businesses small and large are recognizing the power of wellness programs to encourage their teams to make healthy choices throughout the workday.

Is your small law firm ready to help your team stay healthy? Try these steps for creating a wellness program at your small law firm:  

Assess the needs and interests of your team

One of the keys to a successful wellness program is building in perks your employees will want to take advantage of. Take the time to create a program that feels like a benefit, not another job duty. The best way to do this is to talk to your employees. What wellness program elements are they interested in?

Perhaps they’d like access to discounted gym memberships, rewards for setting and meeting personal fitness goals or healthy snacks in the office. If you can, offer multiple different elements in your wellness program so that team members can participate in the parts that feel most valuable to them.

Set up your wellness program

Once you have a good idea of what your team wants from a wellness program, start implementing your ideas. Whenever possible, frame the program with positive reinforcement: this should be all about promoting and rewarding healthy practices, not making employees feel punished for not being up to par in fitness or nutrition.

Arrange for healthcare screenings to kick off your program so that your team members can get a sense of the current state of their health and what they can do to improve it. Set up nonsmoking benefits to encourage a healthy choice that will impact both your employees and their families. Start an exercise program that rewards your team members for sticking to a fitness plan, and let them choose how they will individually meet their goals. Or, if enough people are interested in the same things, you could even consider forming an office yoga group or a recreational sports team. Offer healthy snacks at your team meetings, and invite a nutritionist to come talk to the office about easy but healthy pack-ahead lunches. The options are almost endless.

Evaluate the success of your team after a set amount of time (3-6 months) and make changes if necessary

Any new program will have wrinkles to be ironed out. Several months after introducing your new wellness program, gather feedback from your team. Take a look at the habits you are measuring and see if people have been making measurable progress in their wellness goals. Keep what’s working and adjust what isn’t.

Like any new office initiative, your wellness program will work a little differently in practice than it did on paper. Commit to testing a few versions of the program and giving them enough time to make an impact.

By |September 1st, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.