Mary Poppins had it right when she sang that spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Some Wellness Programs are treated like nasty medicine by employees.
How can a Program designed, with good intentions, by the leadership be viewed negatively by employees? Or worse yet, misunderstood or ignored!
Here are our recommendations.
Get the employees involved in the planning process in the early stages. Ask them what they value. They will feel respected and that that their opinion counts! Employees who become engaged in the initial process will become advocates and ambassadors to other employees who are slow to adopt the idea of a wellness program.
In the planning process, offer a variety of initiatives. You may find that some of the requests employees want are completely different than what you expected. Some of the initiatives may include: group activities after work, onsite wellness such a weekly massage therapist, meditation spaces, nutrition counselling, financial counselling, mental health and emotional education, fitness memberships.
Wellness is greater than just health. Financial wellness may also be an area of concern for your employees. Maybe younger employees are experiencing pressure are they look to buy a home or start a family, perhaps baby boomers are looking to retire and are worried about lack of finances, boredom or loss of identity. Financial wellness provides employees with a financial expert who can help employees develop a financial strategy that may reduce stress and improve their outlook on life!
Communicate. Educate. Evaluate. Once you and your team have the Wellness Program in place, you need to communicate the benefits and value to the employees. Employees may not see the value so you may need to offer workshops, send out a newsletter, or have staff or department meetings. And once the program is in place, you need to develop a way to evaluate or measure the success.
At Group Benefits, we’ve worked with a variety of businesses introducing, implementing and measuring Wellness Programs. We’d love to meet with you to share our knowledge and to act as a third-party resource.
The benefits of a Wellness Program to you, as an employer, are the reduction of employee turnover, higher productivity, reduction of absenteeism and a happier work environment overall.
You won’t even need that sugar!