Wellness from any angle can be hard when working long, hard and stressful days. This is why senior management really needs to be the ones to help lead and drive corporate wellness from the top (as they are the ones that normally need it the most).
The implementation of a corporate wellness strategy requires work, time, attention and a proper support team to lead the strategy to ensure a successful rollout for all staff members.
Here are 6 ways that leaders can help support employees on a successful corporate wellness journey:
1. Encourage wellness program diversity
When asked, a lot of employees think that wellness is purely physical. So when they hear wellness programs, they think you will be making them run laps of the block before or after work, but this is very far from the truth regarding what is trying to be accomplished.
To create a wellness program for your employees purely around physical health you are missing out on valuable opportunities to impact overall health and engage employees to take part in the program.
The program can include many different areas of health over a 12-month prior of time. Look at what aspects employees would find most valuable and ensure that these areas are included within the plan. Focus areas could include burnout, stress, diet, and financial wellbeing, and ensure these are incorporated into your strategy.
2. Getting Leadership on board
Some of our past blogs have identified the main benefits of a successful corporate wellness program – increasing productivity, decreasing work absenteeism, creating a friendly and happy working environment, and improving employees’ overall mental and physical health.
Studies show that 60% of employees are unaware that their employers offer wellness programs. Therefore, it is vital that leaders help to promote the corporate wellbeing program to keep employees actively involved and create awareness. If it is seen coming from the top the employees will be more likely to engage and see the benefits of why this program has been implemented. It should be mentioned in emails (everyone reads the bosses’ emails), discussed at team meetings, and spoken openly about in the lunch room to encourage employees to engage.
3. Training other employees to support workplace wellness
A well-designed corporate wellness program isn’t a one-person job. It requires a well-thought-through plan, a supportive team, and regular monitoring and adjustment. The saying goes “many hands make for light work”. Having a team of people to come up with new ideas will make the planning stages easier and more creative. Also, by having more employees (including new recruits) as part of the wellness team, you will be able to get a broader understanding of what employees have expressed that they would like in the corporate wellness journey also. This will also help with advertising upcoming events to different employee teams, and communicating the wellness program information and general hype around the office.
4. Communicate Effectively
Proper communication is essential to the success of an employee wellness program and needs to start from the outset. Once the program has been designed by the wellness team, it’s important to communicate the strategy and the reasons behind why its being done.
Not every wellness strategy that you implement is going to be beneficial to all employees. However, if you create a well-rounded program looking at all pillars of health such as physical health, mental health, general health, and diet and nutrition you will have covered most areas.
As a team, decide on a well-thought-out wellness program promotion strategy and communication plan before you jump in. This includes deciding which communication channels will be used to promote the strategy. For example, do you have a corporate wellness whats app group? An app? A staff intranet, internal communications team, or staff newsletter?
Another thing to consider is how frequently is the wellness team going to communicate this information? Is it going to be weekly or do you think this could be too much? Is monthly too infrequent? Do you just communicate by email and a calendar invite? Every corporate wellness program is different so make sure you think about what is best for your employees and stick to it so they become familiar with the communication strategy created.
5. Raising awareness around the importance of mental and physical health in the workplace
For leaders to show vulnerability means that they are developing a creative environment. If a leader’s success metric depends on creativity and innovation and they set up a culture where vulnerability is seen as a weakness then they will never see great results as people will be too scared to take risks and be creative.
If a leader can share stories about stressful times or talk about what it was like when they were not a leader this will help to bring awareness to the importance of both mental and physical health in the workplace.
6. Hold frequent challenges that all leaders are involved in
Once you have a communication strategy in place and the assets to support this, make sure you kick off with something exciting. Having regular challenges will give people in the office something to talk about other than work. We spend so much time with our work colleagues so they are definitely the best people to help and encourage each other. When they see the leaders involved it will definitely encourage people to also get involved to show that they really do want to make a healthy change in their life. By the employees taking part they can show the leaders a real appreciation of what they are doing to help them on this wellness journey.
Every corporate wellness program is unique and can be challenging but a strong leadership team will definitely help to bring awareness and motivate employees to get involved, resulting in living a healthier and happier life inside and outside of the work environment. If you need help developing your corporate wellness plan get in touch with the Safe Hands team today.