Is your company’s wellness program everything it could be? Is participation low? Do employees seem bored by wellness activities and events? On the whole, does your program feel lackluster and aimless?
If that’s the case, fear not. There are many simple things you can do to give your wellness program a shot in the arm. Here are six of the best:
Get Top Brass to Buy In
When your company’s leaders can’t be bothered with the wellness program, they send the message that it’s not that important to the organization. But when your CEO’s giving inspirational talks at corporate wellness events, your vice-president’s out jogging in the fun run and your directors are holding meetings while walking, employees see that fitness is a part of your company’s culture.
Realize That One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Some wellness programs only focus on employees facing the greatest health risks, such as smokers or those who are obese. These programs benefit a small slice of your employee population but do little for the majority of your people, resulting in low engagement. A better approach is to make sure all employees are rewarded for improving their fitness levels, whether they’re avid gym-goers or exercise newbies.
Have an Operating Plan
Plan your wellness program as strategically as you would any company initiative. Determine your workforce’s health needs and risks, set goals and benchmarks, create a timeline and evaluate how well the plan’s working at certain intervals.
Use Social Influence
As we learned in elementary and high school, peer pressure works. Set up teams and challenges for people to participate in, and let their peers influence them to make the right choices. Everyone wants to win, and when a participating on a team, no one wants to be the one to let everyone down.
Let’s face it, people are driven by incentives. (Incentives are so important, in fact, we’ve got an entire post on them!) Everyone will work harder if a “carrot” (a prize) is put in front of them, be it cash, gift cards, paid time off or one a myriad of other rewards. With the right incentives, employees will be driven to take part in your program and achieve results.
Finally, don’t forget to recognize your employees’ successes. Acknowledge their fitness accomplishments at an event or in the company newsletter. Create a bulletin board and post the names and pictures of everyone who’s met a certain benchmark, such as running a 5K, losing five pounds or doing 25 pull-ups. This kind of public recognition gives employees something to strive for. Wanting to join the “5K Club” (and getting pats on the back when they do) can be just the motivation they need to re-invest in the fitness program.
Interested in more ways to improve your company's wellness program?
Photo Credit: Company Teams, Flickr