More than two-thirds of US companies report they currently have a wellness program, according to Forbes. As the population becomes more aware of the negative health outcomes of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, organizations are leading the way in encouraging change.
However, one of the most consistent problems they face in implantation is gaining buy-in from employees. These seven tips will help in guiding your company’s programs be adopted as broadly as possible:
01. Communicate expectations
Any policy that you simply email to employees is bound to be ignored. Demonstrate wellness is a priority through posters, video, and conversing with employees.
02. Encourage management participation
Our research has found managers have the power to set the tone for their teams. This is true with wellness programs too. If you can get manager buy-in, expect employee support to follow.
03. Bring teams together
Collaboration is often the goal for modern organizations. Yet 80% of employees do most of their work individually. Here’s what wellness expert Limeade has to say about the importance of teams: “Fun social wellness challenges — including everything from getting steps together to volunteering to holding innovation sessions — can bring teams closer together, rally everyone around a common goal and improve workplace relationships.”
04. Dedicate resources
Like many things in business, what you put into it is what you get out of it. That’s why ROI for wellness initiatives is important. Be sure you have the staffing, equipment, and program design going forward. Allocating adequate time for wellness — rather than expecting employees to dedicate time of their own accord — is also crucial.
05. Solicit feedback
Like with most policies, you might not get wellness right the first go around. Ask employees about what needs to be tweaked for them to fully participate. By doing so, you demonstrate a long-term investment in wellness.
06. Use incentives
Successful employee programs often use incentives to spur participation. This could include anything from small bonuses to gift cards to a raffle for a new TV. Proceed with caution — it’s all too easy to let a cooperative wellness program devolve into a competition for prizes.
07. Go beyond physical health
Wellness is about more than regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Aduro, a wellness leader, incorporates four domains into their program: health and fitness, money and prosperity, growth and development, and contribution and sustainability. They call it human performance for fueling high-functioning people and organizations.
Designing a wellness program is just the start. Then the real work begins — getting everyone in the organization on the same page. If you can do that, imagine how your organization could transform in other ways.