In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the many benefits of establishing a company wellness program. So now you may be wondering, how do we get our employees engaged?
You aren't alone if you're wondering this. Usually employees participate in a wellness program initially, but often tend to lose interest over time. You also may notice that the culture of wellness you wanted to instill isn't catching on. So what's the key to a successful wellness program? It's simple, really. It needs to be fun, social and personal.
Since every company has a different corporate environment, there is no "one size fits all approach" when it comes to engaging employees. But here are a few ideas that may get you thinking in the right direction.
Making the Program Fun, – Everyone enjoys an occasional diversion during the daily grind. We all like to have fun with co-workers and see them loosen up. Look for different ways to encourage this at your company. Some ideas include holding a company Olympics where employees can be a part of a team competing for a prize. You may also want to have dress down days where employees can wear work-out attire. Or you could hold a scavenger hunt to help teach healthy eating and exercising tips.
Social – People are typically competitive, so look for ways to encourage friendly competition. Find a challenge and offer prizes such as pedometers that employees can compete for. People will put in an amazing amount of effort to keep up with and beat their peers. If you aren't sure where to start, exercise (miles or steps) and weight loss challenges are very popular. You may also want to hold a variety of classes that teach healthy lifestyle choices. Programs are also successful when you are able to show rankings throughout the program so everyone can see how they compare with their peers.
And Personal – Encourage employees to share their personal success stories. This can be very powerful and it helps others really take notice. When someone is having great success with your wellness program, other employees can learn from them and find their own success. Don't forget to let employees share their stories anonymously if they would like to.
One additional component that can help drive your wellness program is to promote it. Post information about wellness program events or activities taking place on internal bulletin boards, internal newsletters, emails, your company's marquee and on your social media pages. These small reminders keep the program top-of-mind and help to constantly motivate and encourage your employees. Plus, they’re great reminders that your company is 100 percent behind everyone's success and involvement.
Again, there is no one right answer or idea when it comes to engaging your employees, so get creative and try a variety of different activities. I’d like to hear from someone else who has found strategies that work in their company. If you have some ideas to share, please comment on this blog entry.