Hosting an onsite employee biometric screening is a great way to kick-start the summer with some new wellness initiatives. If you plan on hosting a health screening this summer, there are a few things you might want to be prepared for.
Each season offers its own unique set of challenges when it comes to hosting wellness events. However, while there might be some potential challenges, the summer is definitely a great time to host a screening. Since your wellness initiatives might lose some steam over the warmer months, it’s always a good idea to get a fresh conversation about health and wellness started in your office.
The following are a few challenges you might run into while planning a biometric screen during the summertime, plus some tips to help you make your summer screening successful.
Like all other office activities, the summer season can make scheduling, attendance, and engagement a bit trickier. Many employees take vacation time or work shorter hours during the summer. While getting enough participates might be a challenge during the summer months, there are some things you can do to overcome attendance as a screening roadblock. Here are a couple examples:
Strong communication tactics. Communicate early and communicate often. Don’t let your employees forget about your screening event. Be sure they know there’s an opportunity for free health screenings. Make the date and time loud and clear. Post flyers, send out email blasts, and have managers bring it up during team meetings. You might also benefit from having your employees fill out a survey to determine the most convenient dates and times for your screening. That way, more employees will be able to participate.
Provide screening options. There are many ways to employ biometric screenings that provide more flexibility than an onsite event. While hosting events at your workplace is always an excellent option, be aware that they can be supplemented with home screening kits or visits to a primary care physician, if need be. Providing more options allows your MIA employees to get their screenings on their own time.
Let’s face it: employees are usually more interested in spending time in the sunshine than they are on wellness initiatives during the summer months. For your screening, that might mean employees have trouble understanding health metrics or staying focused on the next steps – which are both needed to form healthy habits. If employees aren’t focused on what their screenings actually mean or how they can utilize results, it defeats the purpose.
You can overcome the summer distractions in a few different ways:
Proper communication. Be sure you consistently communicate your employees’ wellness options to them. Let them know how your program can help and which features relate to their personal health journeys. It’s also important to use communication as a strategic health education tool. It’s crucial that employees know what troublesome health metric results mean. It might be beneficial to choose a screening partner that provides on onsite health counselor to guide employees through their screening results.
Utilize summer wellness activities. Summer comes with screening challenges, but it also comes with a wide variety of healthy opportunities. People love to get outside and be active in the summer, which creates an opportunity for some outdoor picnics or team activities. It’s also an ideal time to stock up on fresh, farmer’s market produce to stock your office kitchen and breakrooms. Focus on fun summer activities to help your employees take a more active role in their health this season.
Provide educational materials. If focus is a serious struggle at your company, it may be helpful to provide handouts, flyers, or email blasts about common health challenges – like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sedentary lifestyles. These types of materials ensure your employees have something to reference to. They can refer to the handouts or emails at their own pace when they’re ready to start thinking about their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
PS. We’ve got quite a few handouts ready to go, so feel free to ask your account manager if you’d like to use them!
It’s a possibility that the summer season might positively or negatively impact your employees’ health metrics. Employees might exhibit healthier numbers than normal because they’re more active and focused on their beach bods. They also might exhibit numbers that are less healthy than normal because they’ve been having a blast attending summer BBQs, lounging at the pool, and enjoying some adult beverages.
Either way, health metrics taken in the summer might not yield the typical health status employees have year-round. Here’s what you can do about that:
Communicate. Noticed a pattern yet? Communication is key to understanding what health metrics really mean! Ensure your employees know what it means to have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. You also need to communicate about the behaviors that contribute to those things, and the patterns that might crop up during the summer. It might be helpful for your employees to read through this blog post a couple weeks before their scheduled screening.
Provide current snapshots. Ultimately, a biometric screening is a snapshot of an employee’s health at any given moment in time. So while the screening might not show typical year-round habits, that doesn’t mean the results are incorrect. A biometric screening illustrates an employee’s health status as it stands at the moment of the screening. Be sure that employees understand this and know that with some healthy habits, they can help improve their key health numbers.
Even though summer screenings can sometimes present some unique challenges, every season is a good season to talk about health. Get your employees on board by using effective communication and focusing on the details that make a summer screening successful.
When is your annual biometric screening? How are you addressing potential challenges? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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