Are you wondering how to engage remote employees in wellness discussions?
With more teams working remotely these days, engaging remote employees with useful wellness ideas to inspire healthy behavior is a must.
Especially if you want to keep them as mentally and physically healthy as possible during an era where good health is more important than ever.
Plus, if you’re not engaging your remote workers, it could be costly.
Back in 2017, The Engagement Institute released a report that disengaged employees cost companies between $450 and $550 billion a year.
Remote work has its own challenges when it comes to navigating unique stressors like isolation and a more sedentary work environment. That just means you have to figure out how to get remote workers invested in virtual wellness initiatives.
Not sure how?
Here are 11 ways to engage remote employees with ease:
1. Host Extended Group Challenges
Looking for a way to connect your remote employees from afar? An extended wellness group challenge is the perfect way to do it! Aim to select challenges that make it easy for individual tracking to monitor progress to report to the group.
Extended group challenges to try:
- X steps in a month
- Drink more water challenge
- Eat a healthy lunch daily for a month
Not sure where to start? Check out our 6 Easy Fitness and Wellness Challenges that can easily be modified for remote workers to try.
2. Host Short Group Challenges
Not quite ready for a massive remote group challenge? There are a ton of fun options that can be done in a day or for a week or two at a time. These short challenges allow for more flexibility while also connecting your remote team members for wellness opportunities.
Short challenges to consider:
- Plank challenges
- Push-up challenges
- Dance-off challenges
- Wellness word search puzzles
Remember these short challenges should be ones that can easily be joined online and take a few minutes. Take a group vote on what types and how often to do challenges.
3. Create a 24/7 Resource Library
One of the easiest ways to provide access to healthy resources is to have an ever-growing resource file. Consider creating an online library of videos and helpful information that remote workers can access anytime in any time zone.
Ideas for your resource library:
- Links to wellness blogs
- Fitness videos
- Meditation mantras
- Healthy recipes
- Financial fitness content
4. Stay Socially Connected
Have a variety of ways for employees to stay in touch so they can remain socially healthy. Throughout the pandemic, remote work and lack of connection have caused a spike in mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Invite your workers to connect on a professional and personal level.
Encourage frequent communication like:
- 1-on-1 coffee breaks
- Virtual team happy hours
- Face-to-face time for meetings
Humans are social creatures and need regular interaction. Work meetings are necessary, but so are unstructured periods of social time, too.
5. Honor Hard Work
Share everyone’s wins and big accomplishments. Both work goals and wellness challenges should be recognized in some sort of manner for all employees. This shows appreciation for the effort and may inspire the employee to continue their good work.
A few ways to offer remote workers kudos:
- Send a handwritten thank-you note
- Give a shout-out in a group email
- Offer praise on a video call
- Start a kudos channel on Slack
Keep in mind that some individuals prefer to stay out of the spotlight. If you detect discomfort from employees being recognized in public, ask them how they’d prefer to be honored for their work ethic.
6. Be Inclusive
Remember that not every wellness campaign you have is going to resonate with each employee. Additionally, there may not be 100% participation all of the time, either, especially since the joy of remote work is the built-in schedule flexibility.
A few ways to show inclusiveness:
- Ask all employees what wellness topics matter to them
- Develop a diverse wellness committee panel
- Offer your remote workers the same benefits as on-site ones
If you have an on-site gym or offer local gym memberships or discounts, be sure to offer remote employees something similar. Or, if you’re hosting an on-site wellness fair, make sure remote employees have kits at home that allow them to participate somehow, too.
7. Grab Attention
One study found the average office worker gets about 90 emails daily. If you want your email wellness initiatives or requests to stand out, do something different. Remote workers get too many emails. If yours doesn’t stand out, it may get ignored. You can also think outside-the-box and send snail mail to share exciting news.
A few ways to bring attention to your wellness requests:
- Put emojis in your email subject line
- Surprise them with a quarterly wellness package
- Include gifs in your emails to solicit a response back
Capture remote workers’ attention with interesting communications about your upcoming events and challenges. Be creative in your communications to get them engaging with you and your upcoming virtual campaigns.
8. Stay Consistent in Messaging
Employees appreciate consistency. Let them know as far in advance as you can about upcoming events like webinars, challenges, etc. This allows them to plan ahead so they can attend and clear their schedule to get the most out of the event. If no one can attend events or participate in discussions, there’s no point in expending resources or time on it.
A few ways to stay consistent:
- Share details far in advance
- Plan out quarterly events, if possible
- Inquire about best times and days for virtual events
- Ask employees about their preferred contact method
Maintain the same marketing plan to notify workers of upcoming virtual wellness events. For example, send a notification email a month in advance, send out invites for RSVPs, and follow-up with a fun email once a week. Send a few extra reminders via text or email the week of the event to increase participation.
9. Provide Healthy Snacks
If the company budget allows for it, send remote employees a healthy snack box on a schedule. Or, offer a stipend for them to use themselves to pick out their favorite healthy munchies. You can also share nutrition-related articles to help them choose snacks more wisely.
Resources to share with remote employees:
- 7 Healthy Snacks for Work to Supercharge Your Day
- 8 of the Best Healthy Foods to Eat When You're Stressed Out
- In a Rush? Here Are 9 Healthy Meals You Can Whip Up in No Time
When presented with healthier options, an employee may discover a favorite new healthy go-to snack to add to their diet.
10. Be Supportive
Keeping employees healthy means showing support in your own health initiatives and campaigns. The aforementioned report from The Engagement Institute showed employees felt that most engagement initiatives should come directly from leadership.
Offer resources and support like:
- Crisis hotlines
- Telehealth options
- Open door policies
- Regular communication
- Insurance point of contacts
When leadership encourages the appropriate wellness resources, it sends the message to remote employees that their health matters. If leadership seems invested, then employees may be inspired to get more involved.
11. Ask and Listen
Survey remote employees to find out what is working and what isn’t. Make adjustments to your wellness initiatives and other workplace techniques as needed. Check out our recent post Strengthen Your Corporate Wellness Program With These Surveys to snag some ideas for survey questions.
How do you engage your remote employees? If you’re looking for even more creative ideas, check out our newest free download: Your Essential Planner to Engage Your Remote Team in Wellness!