Your wellness program's success depends on your employees.
And if you’re going to pour time, energy, and money into creating resources for employee wellness events, you want it to be as successful as possible, right?
That means getting your team over-the-moon thrilled to focus on their health and well-being. A tall order, but it’s definitely doable.
Interested in ways to better your employee engagement strategies?
Get them pumped about your healthy workplace initiatives with the following tips to improve engagement the minute you begin planning!
1. Fill the Actual Employee Wellness Need
It may seem simple, but ask employees what they want and find out what they need. This will help you skip over any programs that may not be useful. For example, if you have a youthful office full of active millennials, you won’t really need to do a presentation on Alzheimer’s.
A few ways to discover what they want:
- Survey - Ask your employees what’s important to them. Financial well-being? Healthy eating? Personal development? They’ll tell you if you ask.
- Ask questions - Gauge employee knowledge on important health subjects.
- Discover what’s appealing - Find out the kinds of events they would most enjoy — formal events, casual lunch and learn events, workshops, etc.
Once you have the insight, use this information to build an employee wellness program that appeals to them.
2. Keep Your Schedule Full
As long as you make wellness initiatives front and center each month, it encourages employees to keep them front of mind, too. Make them fun, exciting, and not too technical to ensure the best participation.
Some ways to keep health marked on the calendar:
- Take advantage of healthy “holidays” - There are a lot of health-related holidays and observances throughout the year. Keep your wellness schedule full to make sure employees have new events to look forward to each month.
- Make meetings exciting - Use team and company-wide meetings to host small events that lend itself well to guest speakers, lunch and learns, etc.
- Schedule a wellness power hour - Make the lunch hour a healthy one. Combine healthy eating with a nice power walk after lunch to minimize the typical afternoon slump after eating.
Throughout the month, plan to have a variety of workshops, seminars, and lunch and learn events to string together the month’s wellness theme.
3. Add in Healthy Competition
There’s something about healthy competitions that get employees excited. Perhaps it’s the incentive to socialize about a topic other than work. Maybe it’s the thrill of a challenge. Bring up the idea of individual or department competitions and see what your staff thinks.
Why host a competition?
- Builds teamwork
- Increases engagement
- Highly customizable
Schedule several competition opportunities throughout the year and mix them up — teams, singles, short, long. Make these team-building activities fun. And don’t forget prizes!
4. Prizes and Giveaways
You don’t have to save prizes for competitions. Surprise your team with random drawings at team meetings or give wellness gifts to celebrate wins. Most employees will be excited to receive a prize that will contribute to their overall well-being.
- Consider company-branded swag - Give away water bottles, gym bags, frisbees, or towels. Make it a useful item that they’ll actually use. Plus, it’s a free advertising opportunity for your company, too!
- Let them relax - Thoughtful gifts that can help them relax their mind and body show your company cares about self-care, too. Sporting events or theme park tickets, spa day packages, massage, etc. are all easy to purchase.
- Don’t forget bigger gifts when appropriate - If your company has the budget, items like kayaks or weekend getaways can certainly increase engagement for larger events or challenges.
Make sure your wellness committee has a firm budget at the onset of any employee wellness initiatives they take on. This will help prevent spending from getting carried away and dwindling funds before the year is over.
5. Build in “Play Time”
The older we get, the harder it is to remember our playful roots. Researchers confirm playing can improve memory, reduce stress, and prevent burnout from happening. While “playing” looks different for adults, it’s any activity you find exciting and relaxing.
Some ideas for “play” time:
- Organize games and scavenger hunts - These can be simple or complex, from Bingo during a meeting to a week-long scavenger hunt.
- Create a play area - Have areas designated for breaks that encourage employee interaction and have fun activities like board games, coloring books, cards, and video games.
- Provide adequate breaks - Encourage employees to take breaks during the day and honor time off to recharge.
Without downtime, it can be hard for employees to find the mental capacity to continue pushing through their workloads. Give them the space to unwind and be creative — play is the perfect way to do that.
6. Get Out of the Office
Day after day in the same ole setting can get boring fast. That’s why vacations are so exciting; you’re changing your daily scenery and breaking away from the standard. Encourage your employees to get out of the office.
Some ways to get a breath of fresh air:
- Invite the whole family - Schedule an outdoor picnic with family activities to kick-off a new program, a program revamp, or just as a thank you to your hardworking employees.
- Go on field trips - Create time for exploration outside the office. Encourage teams to take field trips during work hours. This can be anything from a theme park day, museum, cooking class, yoga studio, healthy restaurant, or even an escape room.
- Be creative - Anything that supports physical or mental wellness is a great way for your team to reconnect and unwind. Lunch hour picnics, for example, intertwines social hour, outdoor time, and rest.
Research shows that spending time in the great outdoors has a big impact on health. Reports have unveiled that green space exposure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress, and high blood pressure.
7. Market It Well
Your employees won’t come to any of your wellness events — no matter how grand — if you don’t market it. However your team best connects, that’s how you can gather the greatest interest. A variety of marketing methods will ensure you have the greatest reach.
Market with these ideas:
- Stay on employees’ radar - Keep them updated with emails, newsletters, flyers, and signs on when, where, and what your event is all about. Give them a fear of missing out!
- Make a promo video - Ask leadership to make a lighthearted promo video talking about your upcoming wellness campaign. Send it off in an email or post to a Slack channel for everyone to see.
- Develop a schedule to market new events - Use social media to increase engagement and share results, pictures, etc. with employees after events.
Gathering your employees for volunteer work allows them to work together for a common good cause they believe in. Volunteer opportunities can create long-lasting friendships and bonds among coworkers who unite for a cause dear to their hearts.
When volunteering as a group:
- Set a goal - Create a company-wide goal to hit a specific number of volunteer hours each quarter or year.
- Organize teams for local events - Habitat for Humanity, cancer walks, beach clean-ups, soup kitchens, food drives, and animal rescue centers, etc. always need big groups of volunteers.
- Spread the word - Take pictures and share with employees and on social media. Once other employees see what a good time was had, they may join in for the next volunteer round.
Consider setting one day a quarter aside for shutting down the office and volunteering together. It’s a great way to get your name into the community while also doing a good deed.
9. Host a Health Fair
A health fair puts your company's best wellness resources in your employees’ hands. Aside from promoting your own wellness programs and benefits, you can sprinkle in some community resources, too.
Some health fair vendor ideas:
- Local gyms
- Juice bars
- Health department
- Wellness studios
A health fair is a perfect way to kick-off a new employee wellness campaign or rejuvenate your current program. It generates a lot of buzz and excites and engages employees in a big way. Learn how to host one with our all-in-one health fair planning guide!
10. Show You Care
When you take the time to create thoughtful, employee-centric programs, your employees will reward you by participating. Make sure the topics you cover are on their healthy living agendas, too.
How to do it:
- Keep leadership involved - Wellness programs need support from the top down. Make sure executives are visible in your company’s wellness efforts.
- Update employees on changes - Keep employees informed of any policy, retirement or health plan changes. Have educated sources readily available when employees have questions.
- Survey them often - Get feedback on what health issues are most important to your employees. Then build your campaigns thoughtfully around those topics.
11. Keep it On-Site
Your employees are busy. They have families, friends, and passions outside of work. Unless you’re inviting the whole family to an after-hours event, try to keep your campaigns in the workplace.
A few ways to do that:
- Make room for working out - Host a fitness bootcamp class or build an on-site gym.
- Host lunch & learn events - Bring in various speakers to cover wellness topics like stress relief, healthy eating, exercise tips, and financial literacy.
- Keep a healthy living knowledge center - Create a room or corner of the office that’s dedicated to health and wellness. Fill it with local wellness resources, books, free health samples, and more.
Test, Survey, and Repeat
Use these employee engagement strategies on repeat and do what works best for your team.
Pump your employees up as often as you can when it comes to rolling out new health and wellness campaigns. Start early with promotion and engage your most enthusiastic participants by using their energy to get others onboard.
Don’t be afraid to try new programs and retire events or campaigns that aren’t generating interest.
And, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it — improve it!
Above all, survey employees often and don’t forget to thank them for their time. As you make tweaks to your programming, make sure your wellness committee has a process in place to use any information gathered to implement improvements.
Then you’ll be off to the races when it comes to exciting everyone about employee wellness.
What do you do to promote employee wellness in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below!
Article image created by iconicbestiary - freepik.com