Structuring a wellness program that genuinely benefits your employees doesn’t have to be rocket science.
What makes a corporate wellness program successful? Many HR managers think it’s just a matter of throwing together the right combination of risk assessments and step challenges, and voila! They’ve got themselves a healthy staff. While assessment tests and competitive challenges certainly can encourage employees to make healthier lifestyle choices, they are often short lived. People tend to revert to old behaviors without a sustainable and consistent program to keep them motivated. Here are a few points to consider so you can ensure your wellness program has lasting positive effects for your staff.
- Create a personally relevant experience. People aren’t drawn to cookie-cutter content. They want specific answers to their specific questions. For example, an employee who is struggling with addiction requires different resources than an employee who wants to control their blood pressure. Instead of lumping everyone into the same box, give them the opportunity to find the most relevant information for their circumstances and customize how they interact with your content to suit their individual needs.
- Cover all aspects of health and well-being. Although it’s great to see how many organizations are prioritizing topics like fitness and nutrition, there are massive gaps in corporate healthcare when it comes to mental, financial, and emotional health. People are beginning to understand that all of these aspects of life are tightly interconnected, meaning it’s not enough to address one without also taking care of the others.
- Simplify the user experience. How many times have you abandoned a registration form because it was too long or too complex? If your employees consider signing up or using your program more energy than it’s worth, participation will flatline. Making access and use as straightforward as possible will drastically reduce resistance.
- Keep content fresh. Another mistake HR managers make is taking a “set it and forget it” approach to their wellness programs. You don’t need to update your resources too often, but it’s important to review it on a regular basis to make sure it accurately reflects contemporary standards. Not only is outdated information unhelpful, but it could even be dangerous for your employees.
- Prioritize confidentiality. Be sensitive to the fact that some people aren’t comfortable with posting their weight loss progress on social media, or speaking openly about their stress levels. Allowing your employees to use your program anonymously will make them more likely to seek help when they need it.
- Incorporate healthy values into your workplace culture. Even if you’ve faithfully covered all the above points, your employees won’t fully get onboard unless they feel the organization genuinely and holistically supports their well-being. Routinely reminding your staff to use the program is a great start, but it’s even better to demonstrate their welfare is a top priority every second they’re on the job. Some of the ways you can do this include creating a calming and inviting physical work environment, boosting employee motivation, and managing bullying and conflict.
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Also published on Medium.