Practice, Program, Policy: A step-wise approach to foster wellbeing at work

Leanna Lilly, MS, PHR, CCWS
August 1, 2018

Creating a culture of well-being within an organization is a big job and takes time, money and support. Recently, I was introduced to a new concept from the not-for-profit world, “Pledge the Practice, Pass the Policy.”

The idea is simple: pledge to act today while building a foundation to achieve long-term goals. Ideally, we would all have policies in place to foster healthier work environments and formally support employee wellbeing at work. However, it takes time to gather support and buy-in to successfully implement new policies.

Even if you don’t have money or organization-wide support, you can personally start to make small changes today. As these practices take hold, you can then begin to implement programs to engage employees. All the while, you can be working behind the scenes to gather support, develop guidelines and formally adopt policies that will integrate those practices into your workplace culture to make healthier choices and behaviors the norm.

Let’s examine a step-wise approach to fostering wellbeing with progressively increasing requirements of time, money and organizational buy-in.


You can start implementing PRACTICES today, on your own, with no additional resources. But practices are most effective when they spread throughout the workplace and become ingrained in the fabric of an organization. So start leading the way.

Some practice examples include:


The next step, PROGRAMS, will take longer to plan and will require additional support and resources to implement. Programs are more formal and structured than practices and have the potential to reach a far greater number of individuals.

Some program examples include:


POLICIES require buy-in from leadership and can take a long period of time to adopt. To be effective in the long-term, policies require ongoing education and support across the organization.

Some policy examples include:

Building a strong effort to increase wellbeing in the workplace can seem a bit intimidating. But taking an organized, step-wise approach based on a sequence of practices, programs and policies will help realize the benefits for everyone as quickly as possible. It just takes someone with initiative to get the ball rolling and engage others. You can be that person!

About the Author

Leanna Lilly, MS, PHR, CCWS, is a Health Management Specialist for Keenan with over 11 years of experience in worksite wellness. Her areas of expertise include program development, data analysis, and program evaluation. She holds certifications as a Professional in Human Resources, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, WELCOA Faculty Member and Certified Personal Trainer. She earned a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Kentucky and M.S. degrees in both Industrial/Organization Psychology and Exercise and Sports Science from