By Liz Sheffield
Leverage their influence to create enthusiasm and inspire employees. One transparent comment or even a two-sentence email from a leader can do a lot to motivate others to join the wellness movement in an organization.
If the CEO and other high-level executives or managers are involved in your wellness program, supportive of its goals, and making it clear that wellness is an HR priority, the program will have a much greater chance of infiltrating company culture and sticking. Top-down reinforcement of wellness goals is a surefire way to optimize an employee wellness program for increased effect and, in turn, improved employee well-being and productivity.
2. Create camaraderie
Wellness and behavior change can be difficult to tackle all alone. That’s why people often achieve better results when they have a peer group that creates a sense of camaraderie around new habits and behaviors. Make sure your program is set up in a way that your employees benefit from the power of a wellness network.
If you're a small or medium-sized organization, you may not have a critical mass of people who want to quit smoking, lose weight, or address other health changes. That's when the power of online networks comes into play. MeYou Health utilizes an Open Social design, in which employees have 24/7 access to people who are facing the same health challenges. With an online wellness program, participants can find support at any time from their group of peers around the world.
Whether it’s in person or online, camaraderie is a powerful force that can engage and encourage people in your office to make lasting behavioral changes.
3. Meet employee needs
Successful wellness programs often grow out of the results of a health risk assessment (HRA) survey. The HRA provides information that employers can use to confirm and promote the wellness offerings that will best serve a specific employee population. If you’re finding that employees aren’t participating in your program, it may be because it doesn’t meet their needs or address their concerns.
Try delivering a survey to solicit information and feedback that you can use to revise your program. The MeYou Health survey is an example of an assessment tool that not only gathers data but also provides healthy solutions for employees based on their survey responses.
Most importantly, if you’re finding that your program isn’t successful right away, don’t give up! Changing behaviors and adopting new habits takes time. Continue engaging with employees about wellness, and work with them to find a solution they want to embrace. Increasing employee participation in a wellness program requires patience and isn’t a “quick fix.” But the rewards of getting it right are significant – for employees and employers alike.