The success of a company’s wellness program depends on the involvement of the employees. The more people who actively participate, the more improvement you’ll see in your company’s overall health and the lower the costs of insurance premiums. In order to motivate more people to jump on the health and wellness bandwagon, you can integrate social media and social networking into your wellness program.
Social media is an effective tool as people are generally more likely to listen to their peers than an authoritative figure. Just as children often fail to follow the advice of their parents, requests from employers to join a wellness program may fall on the deaf ears of employees. Employees may feel that the company is simply pushing their own agenda without regard to the individual employee. However, if a fellow worker suggests joining a wellness program, it may be viewed as a friendly gesture. While the message is the same, it may be more easily accepted when delivered by a co-worker than a boss.
Although less direct than specifically asking a co-worker to join the program, using a social media platform can be a great way to reach new participants. Simply by viewing others goals and achievements, social media can help inspire people to join the group. Set up a FaceBook group to keep track of your company’s overall progress, start an Instagram page to share success stories or create a Pinterest board with healthy recipes, fun workout routines, and motivational quotes.
Here are a few ways you can improve the quality of your wellness program by using social media and the reasons why they work:
Create Social Groups Online
Help your employees connect with people who have similar goals. Take a poll to find out who is interested in losing weight, getting fit, eating healthier or quitting smoking and find out if they’d like to form a group to support one another in their journey. By having a built-in circle of like-minded individuals, people are more likely to stick to their goals and have a higher success rate. You can set up separate social media pages for each interest or create an overall social media page for the entire company.
Set Up Social Challenges
Humans are competitive by nature and creating a social challenge, whether for individuals or a team, will often bring out even the most laid back employee’s competitive spirit. By posting these challenges to social media, it further holds people accountable for their actions. The more people who know about the competition, the more effort that the participants will put into their performance. It’s easy to give a half-hearted try if no one else is counting on you to win but it’s much harder to give less than your all if you know that other people are rooting for you. Consider setting a goal for the entire company, like number of steps walked or the number of pounds lost, and record the progress on social media to motivate employees to reach the goal.
If you plan to offer an incentives program to motivate employees to participate in challenges, be sure to share the rewards on social media to make sure everyone is aware of what is at stake. One of the most effective uses of rewards is to offer everyone who participates a prize if the overall participation rate reaches a certain percentage of the company population. This pushes the individual to share the competition with as many co-workers as possible and expands the reach of the wellness program.
Use social media to engage wellness program participants by asking and answering health-related questions in a group setting. People can offer advice to others as a comment or post about their own wellness journey. Either way, it’s an interesting way to motivate each other and share success stories. Perhaps one person’s story will serve as inspiration for another. This is also a great way for people to share tips, such as new healthy recipes or the best location for a mid-day walk. The more people talk about the wellness program, the more that word will spread about its benefits.
It’s important to share in the successes of your employees and show your appreciation for all their hard work and effort. While it’s great if employees share their personal success on their own, it’s equally important for the company to acknowledge it. If a team member posts about meeting their goal, whether it’s a weekly step count or the completion of a marathon, be sure to publicly show your excitement for their success with an encouraging and congratulatory comment on social media. Doing so will often encourage others to offer their support for each other’s personal victories as well.
Wellness Programs Can Benefit from Social Media
As you can see, social media can be beneficial to the success of a wellness program in many ways. The simple point of it being social and causing people to share and engage with one another is enough to understand the positive outcome of integrating social media platforms into your existing wellness programs.