Solution Set #4 – Draft Program Evaluation Plan

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What is this about?

Author:  Larry Chapman. One of the toughest challenges wellness professionals face is planning an evaluation of their wellness program. It’s a hard thing to do because evaluation can be both difficult to do and time-consuming for wellness staff.  It is also difficult to keep evaluation projects from creeping beyond their boundaries or appropriate limitations designed to help focus and keep the evaluation feasible to perform each year.  Often it can be hard to enlist management support for program evaluation without managers having unreasonable expectations about the evaluation.

Senior managers often want a comprehensive evaluation of their employee wellness efforts, performed with rigorous research methods, producing highly valid outcomes, while not requiring any additional resources to perform.  Not an easy task for anyone to achieve! These unrealistic expectations sometimes cause program managers to ignore evaluation entirely – which often comes with its own perils.

Therefore, the major evaluation challenge for wellness professionals is to: keep their proposed evaluation feasible and simple to understand, approved ahead of time by senior management, producing valid and objective evaluation feedback while assuring that the evaluation can be repeated consistently each year in a sustainable manner. This Solution Set is designed to help you meet this programming challenge.

Why is this important?

This one-page draft of an evaluation plan for your employee wellness program is important because it provides an easy and quick template you can use with senior management to get advanced approval for how you can evaluate your organization’s wellness effort and report back to your executive team.

What can you do with this document?

Here’s what you could do with this document:

  • First, read it over and make sure it includes the evaluation questions you want to address and the appropriate timing of reporting to senior management.
  • Using the draft, discuss it with your employee advisory committee members.
  • Circulate it to your Wellness Ambassadors and request feedback.
  • Either directly or through your supervisor, send it to your executive team and ask them if this proposed evaluation of the employee wellness effort meets with their approval. (Suggestion: request a desired response date from them.)
  • Once approved by senior management, use the plan to set up your program evaluation and reporting structure.
  • At the end of the program year use the plan to put an annual evaluation report together.

In summary, this 1-page document can be used to help organize and gain agreement from senior management on the evaluation plan for your employee wellness program.

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