Last week we hosted the first webinar, “How to Use Positive Messages to Inspire + Motivate Employees,” of our new 2015 series. Our very own Kenton Hicks, National Account Executive, spent some time going over trends, truths and tips on positivity in the workplace. If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed!
Today’s corporate wellness trends don’t necessarily include positivity as an asset. Many companies have adopted financial incentives to improve engagement. While this is a great option, the fundamental purpose of employee wellness programs has gotten lost in it. The reward in itself is an excellent positive message, and tells employees that their health is important. It’s not uncommon, however, for the opposite—penalizing for unhealthy behaviors—to become the focus, which creates a very strong shift towards negative messaging.
Similarly, many health screenings today use “scare tactics” to inspire employees to make changes. A huge focus is put on the health risks and things that people are doing wrong. This negative perception spans beyond corporate wellness programs to other areas of health, including attitudes about food. While these tactics are common, they’ve been shown to paralyze the audience and produce a lot of stress and anxiety. These negative feelings lead to short-term behavior change, if any. If you’d like to inspire long-term effects, try positive messaging!
Not only do positive thoughts about change lead to long-term results, but positivity in general is an absolute health asset. Studies show that positive employees are better problem-solvers, are more creative and have enhanced interpersonal skills. This stems from the basic physiological factors that are improved by optimism: greater immune resistance, lower levels of distress, lower rates of depression and increased life span. These positive health outcomes help the individual to work more efficiently alone, and more productively in a team environment.
One reason behind the theory that positive people are healthier is that these people are more resilient. People with a positive mindset are better able to cope with and recover from stressful situations. This allows them to overcome the harmful health effects that stress has on their bodies. Essentially, a positive work environment helps individual employees maintain health and prodictivity. This helps the entire team, starting from the management and trickling down throughout the company.
It’s our belief that this positive environment can be instilled in your corporate wellness program by changing the way you communicate with your employees. Words are incredibly powerful, so instead of focusing your words on what has gone wrong, talk about what is going right. If you recognize that your corporate communication styles don’t necessarily elicit positive attitudes, consider changing the conversation.
- Be personal. Tell stories instead of spouting off statistics.
- Be encouraging. Congratulate the good things rather than instilling guilt for the bad.
- Be passionate. Develop an air of excitement about health in your workforce.
- Be empowering. Help your employees to realize their strengths.
While this general idea of positivity can be applied internally, it’s also important to partner with screening vendors that share your company values. Here at TotalWellness, we believe that everyone has some healthy habits they can build off of. When we start with that mindset, we empower your employees to become better, healthier versions of who they are. It’s a simple paradigm shift to positive communication that can truly enhance the results of your corporate wellness program.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about positivity, and want to view the webinar, you’re in luck. Click here to check out a recording. If you like what you’ve seen so far, keep an eye on our website for details about the next installment in our webinar series!
What positive messages do you use with your employees?