By Richard Ellis, sales director at Vivup
Introducing wellbeing initiatives into the workplace, such as smoking cessation or cycle to work schemes are a great way to encourage your staff to keep fit, but you also need to find ways in which to help your employees engage in these activities for the long term.
Here are my suggestions for achieving better employee engagement with your wellbeing strategies.
Step 1: Choose the right wellbeing incentives
Are you offering the right incentives? Wellbeing schemes need to be aligned with your employees. For organisations with a multi-generational workforce this means offering lots of options and tailoring incentives to different age groups and the individual. It’s important to identify the key wellbeing strategies that will deliver the biggest benefits to your team.
Step 2: Raise awareness of the options
With the right types of wellbeing strategies in place, the next step is to promote them. The prescriptive approach is not to be recommended. Instead it’s important to raise awareness of what’s available, and guide your employees towards the options that are most relevant to them.
Step 3: Recruit wellbeing ambassadors
There will always be some employees who are more enthusiastic about health and wellbeing than others. They will be ‘early adopters’ of your incentives and can make great ambassadors to encourage other staff to also get involved. Try to find wellbeing ambassadors that other employees will relate to – the fitness enthusiast who runs marathons every weekend is probably not the best candidate!
Step 4: Devise ways to measure and reward successAchievable goals are a helpful way to keep members of staff engaged with your wellbeing strategies. While an employee may have a big goal such as losing 5 stone or running 5K, it’s the little achievements along the way that will keep them focused. There are plenty of wellbeing apps available that can be used to measure improvements. How about setting your department a target of a combined number of steps to take each week? Goals don’t have to be individual, a team effort creates a supportive environment and everyone can get involved whatever their fitness levels.
Step 5: Keep motivating employees
What happens after an employee signs up to a wellbeing scheme? For example, if they stop smoking after engaging with your programme? Unfortunately, a percentage of people will take up smoking again, so it’s important to find ways to reduce this possibility and also support staff if they do. The next step may be to encourage your staff to engage with another wellbeing strategy, such as to take up cycling. This will give them an alternative to smoking, a way to de-stress and also use their newfound lung capacity for exercise! Think about what other wellbeing incentives can be used as a next step or in conjunction with others.
Getting staff to engage with your wellbeing strategies needs to be an ongoing process. By adopting the steps above, I think you will find it easier to encourage employees to get involved and stay involved long term.