Well-being programs should reduce stress, not cause it. However, often times there are specific areas of your program that tend to cause stress. Here are some examples of common stressors and steps you can take:
Engagement – Participation drives numbers, but engagement drives results. Employees who are truly engaged will go on to develop and sustain healthy lifestyle changes – the ultimate goal of any program.
Not having employees engaged in your well-being program is extremely frustrating, but there are steps you can take to boost engagement.
- Survey employees to find out what they want in a well-being program
- Actively and effectively promote your program with high-quality communications
- Utilize your management team by getting management involved
- Develop a dedicated wellness team to get information to all locations
- Provide opportunities and support for activities both at work and home
- Create a program that includes social aspects to promote interpersonal connections
- Make it fun – it’s the best way to have employees embrace healthy lifestyle improvements
Leadership – There is no question that active support and participation from leadership can have a powerful influence on the success of your workplace well-being program. And we’re not only referring to top-level leadership – middle management plays a crucial role. Your mid-level management team has daily contact with employees and can often have a great influence on participation and engagement.
What steps can you take to get managers on board?
- Bring managers into the planning process by asking for their input
- Share the value of an engaged workforce such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, make sure to provide consistent reporting throughout the year so they can see the progress
- Encourage managers to lead by example by actively participating in well-being activities
- Consider incorporating the well-being program into your managerial performance evaluations
Naysayers – There will always be someone who complains about your program and doesn’t understand that your well-being program is in place for their benefit. You could just ignore them, but there are ways you can help address their concerns.
- Ensure they understand there are laws in place to protect their privacy
- Communicate, communicate, communicate – let them know the motivation and passion behind your well-being program
- Share a “What’s in it for them?” list
- Enlist the support of leadership to communicate a consistent message
- Consider involving naysayers on the well-being committee to better understand and address their hesitations about participating in the program; remember there are other naysayers who aren’t saying anything
Well-being programs are no longer “nice to have,” they are an expected benefit. Yes, at times they can cause stress, but with a little planning and by implementing some of the tips above, you can achieve your goals of a healthier workforce and lowered healthcare costs.