Criteria for Step 3

Step 3. Needs assessment

To identify what you need in your wellness program, you conduct an annual needs assessment.

The assessment has two components—employees (Healthy People) and the workplace environment (Healthy Places).

In the employee needs assessment, you ask employees about their health interests, lifestyle behaviours, and what they want included in the wellness program.

Depending on the size of your workplace, you may also receive a summary report of the survey’s findings to help with your wellness planning.

In the workplace needs assessment, you review the workplace environment. This helps you identify existing resources and facilities available in your workplace as well as potential changes you could make to support your wellness program.

Your workplace carries out needs assessments annually. Employee participation in the assessment is voluntary.


  • Small and medium sized workplaces— you host annual focus groups to identify employee health needs and interests. You complete your annual workplace needs assessment to identify the physical, policy and cultural environmental barriers and opportunities for your wellness program.
  • Large workplaces—your employees complete an annual lifestyle risk assessment, with each employee receiving a confidential report. You run the assessment as an online survey or via an external wellness provider.

See Criteria for Step 4. Action plan