Considering that the success of a wellness program depends upon the participation of as many employees as possible, it makes sense that one of your top priorities should be to improve employee engagement.
After all, even a well-structured wellness program will not offer results if no one takes advantage of it. The more people who take a health risk assessment, sign up for challenges and strive to live a healthier life, the better the overall health of the company and the lower the cost of health care.
Here are a five ways that you can reap the benefits of your wellness program and help improve employee engagement:
- Design a Comprehensive Program – As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Instead of focusing on one aspect of health, like weight loss, diversify your program and offer guidance in other areas, like quitting smoking or providing mental health care. By branching out to a variety of other health care fields, you have a higher chance of connecting with an individual and drawing them into the program. Likewise, you also want to make sure that your challenges and incentives are varied to attract as much participation as possible and make sure that the same person isn’t winning the same challenge each time.
- Strong Senior Management Support – Lead by example and encourage your managers and team leaders to not only spread the word about the wellness program but also participate themselves. If employees see that their bosses are taking it seriously, they may be more likely to join. You can also show your support for the program by offering on-site guidance by a wellness professional who can answer any questions that your staff may have. Show that you’re fully committed to providing the tools your employees need for success and you may find that more employees are willing to commit to the program too.
- Develop An Integrated and Comprehensive Communication Strategy – Be open to receiving feedback from your employees about what is working with your wellness program and what needs to be tweaked. You can seek this information directly using surveys and polls that gather responses anonymously. While you’ll want to hear from active participants, you’ll also want to reach out to the entire workplace to find out why some people are not a part of the program. More often than not, people are simply not aware of the wellness program or don’t understand how it could benefit them. Spread the word through newsletters and bulletin boards and remember to make it accessible to everyone, including those who may not be as tech savvy, by expanding the program beyond the smart phone.
- Integrate Incentives and Rewards – By turning your wellness program into a competitive “game,” you may be able to inspire people to want to “play.” Many people may just need an extra push, like winning bragging rights or earning a monetary reward, to find the motivation to participate. Finding the right incentive for your employees is key. While money is always attractive, other perks, like paid time off or a less strict dress code, are also enticing. Decide on what areas you’d like to see the most improvement in and offer incentives to help you reach those goals.
- Enable Employees to Feel Empowered – Avoid micro managing the wellness program and allow your employees to have a say in how they reach their goals. Let them focus on tasks that showcase their skills and abilities to encourage a higher level of participation. Also, be sure to recognize the work that employees are doing towards improving their health and demonstrate how the individual is also improving the overall health of the company. If people feel like they’re making a difference and others are relying on them, they may be more likely to give it their all.
Improve Employee Engagement
We hope that these five simple steps and best practices for employee wellness engagement will help your wellness program become the best that it can be by encouraging more employees to make the first move to a healthier lifestyle.