With beach season in full swing, many of your employees will be working towards putting their healthiest and fittest foot forward. Naturally, many employers will look towards a wellness program to aid their employees in their quest to become healthier beings. However, how can you implement a wellness program that is not only effective but is beneficial to everyone in the office? Shreya Kangovi, professor of medicine at Penn, states that “Everybody prefers to think simplistically. It’s easier to hope that there’s a one-size-fits-all and walk away from it. The other thing that’s even maybe more interesting is sometimes we do a little bit of blaming the victim. The people that it doesn’t work for, we might say they’re just lazy and they don’t care. We’re learning from our research that the people who fail maybe care too much.”
The problem with an umbrella wellness program is that not everyone will be receptive to negative feedback or criticism. So, the key is to find a program that is inclusive to all of your employees and one that will last. Total Wellness, a blog that promotes company wellness programs boasts, “Employees need support for not only the beginning stages of leading a healthy lifestyle, but continuous support throughout their journey.” It is essential that employers provide the opportunity to make healthy choices so a healthy lifestyle is achievable.
The key to making sure that your employees participate in your wellness program is to make it as easy to integrate a healthy lifestyle into their lives as possible and easily achievable. The Bailey Group brings to light three major complaints employees have when it comes to their wellness journey and offers suggestions on how you can help ensure that your employees maintain their motivation and likeliness to participate in your wellness program:
One of the biggest excuses most people make when it comes to being healthy is that they don’t have the time. Make sure that your wellness program works into the already busy schedules of your employees. Employees complain that they either don’t have the time to work out or they don’t have the time to search for healthy recipes. Incorporate healthy choices into your employees' work days by opting for walk-and-talk meetings or standing desks. Another way to get your employees moving could be offering a mid-day onsite fitness class. Vancouver-based tech company, Mobify offers yoga classes for its employees twice a week, for a double-whammy of fitness and stress relief. Not only can getting your employees moving be beneficial to their health, but those extra endorphins will also get the creative mind flowing and produce a more productive employee.
Provide materials to your employees to educate them on health and wellness. When it comes to health and wellness one excuse that many make is that they don’t know where to start. Aid your employees by providing the materials necessary for them to succeed in their health journey. One great way to aid your employees by giving them the materials they need to lead a healthy lifestyle would be by having an office-wide cooking class about once a month. Not only would a cooking class help your employees learn how to cook healthily for themselves. It is a fun and non-critical approach to aiding them in their healthy journey. If your employees don’t have the time to participate in the cooking class, sending a newsletter of healthy recipes to your employees once a week could also be a good tool to provide them with the kickstart in their healthy journey.
One major excuse when it comes to converting to a healthy lifestyle is that it is too expensive. According to a study done by Harvard School Of Public Health a healthier diet costs, on average, about $1.50 extra a day. The reason for this extra cost is that food companies are focused on mass-producing a ton of food in the cheapest possible way, often resulting in a lack of nutritional value in the majority of processed foods. There are many ways that you could aid your employees in the cost of their wellness journey. One big way that you could aid your employees is by providing wellness compensation. Zappos.com offers reimbursement for health services that employees sign themselves up for so that their employees don’t have to worry about high gym fees and personal trainer fees eating into their income.
By making a wellness program a part of your employees' work day, you have aided your employees in creating more of a wellness culture, integrated into the very being of your company. Shrm.org boasts that a truly effective corporate wellness program should include and motivate everyone, rather than pressuring, embarrassing, or even bribing high-risk employees to improve their health. By making sure that your employees' concerns of time, knowledge, and cost are taken care of when implementing a wellness program, you are making sure that every employee is taken care of, and discrimination is left in the dust.