Wellness programs are a comprehensive health initiative that address all elements of wellbeing They are often incorporated into a workplace as a measure of preventative care to increase the overall health of employees. The uptake of wellness programs are considerably low whereas the statistics of mental health issues are rising. With work pressure (21%), work related harassment or bullying (20%) and exposure to workplace or occupational violence (10%) being the three most common causes behind workplace claims. Employers should implement a wellbeing program to improve the working environment of their company and their employees overall health.
Employers and HR Managers need to take certain factors into account before planning to use a wellbeing program. The employees’ interest and the company’s values are elements that should be considered when organising which employee wellbeing program to use.
Otherwise, organisations risk having programs that employees fail to utilise. Below are some of the best ways to encourage employees to leverage these wellbeing programs.
1. Find a wellbeing program that aligns with the values of the company
Employees are encouraged to participate when organisations arrange wellbeing programs that are centred around their collective interests. However, these programs should also align with the values of the company. For instance, financial firms could hold consultations with financial advisors and debt helpers to assist employees with their personal finance matters. At a gym workplace, health and fitness programs or challenges could be organised for employees to focus on their fitness goals. This strategy is also useful at indirectly improving the individuals understanding towards the company's purpose.
Organising a program that deviates from the core values of the company might discourage employees from actively participating in them. For example, arranging consultation sessions with financial experts for hotel cleaners might be met with less enthusiasm. Therefore, employers and Human Resource Managers should organise wellbeing programs targeted at the core theme of the organisation. Setting up wellbeing programs that align with company values can improve the employees' position at work by helping them develop personally at something that relates to their job.
Some examples of companies who have incorporated successful wellbeing programs can be found here.
2. Ask employees what interests them
Organisations should ask for employees suggestions when making arrangements for a staff wellbeing program. By providing input on their interests and dislikes, employers can organise these programs to the benefit of their employees. For example, an employee might have a disposition to developing sore knees from running and show a preference for yoga. This employee feedback should be taken into consideration when planning a fitness program for the company’s staff as it will reduce injuries and increase participation.
When wellbeing programs are planned without seeking the opinion of employees, the relationship between organisations and their employees may become strained. It is likely that they would not participate in these programs since their preferences weren’t taken into consideration. To improve the adoption rates, participation and benefits of wellbeing programs it is important to consider the input of employees.
Asking employees about their interests before planning wellness programs also assists the Human Resources Manager learn more about their staff and have a clearer idea of how to improve work relationships. This feedback can be obtained through an anonymous survey or face-to-face conversations. Employees are far more likely to participate in wellbeing programs when they feel that they are included in the overall decision-making process.
3. Have a focus for a period of time
Focussing on many things at any one time can be counterproductive. When designing a wellbeing program for employees, it is recommended to concentrate on a particular topic per month and offering different ways to get involved to encourage variety. This way, the program stays aligned to its purpose but is also exciting and unique. Employees may not take an interest in every topic, but it is a great option to encourage participation by trying new things.
A program with a shorter duration that is tailored to the employee’s interest is an effective option to encourage positive habits and behaviours. For example, organisations could implement a Mindfulness in March program that runs over the course of the month. This would incorporate short activities that aim to improve employees mental awareness. After trialling a program like this through work, employees could incorporate these habits into their personal routines.
Uprise’s Workplace Team Wellbeing Program offers positive psychology activities that can be incorporated into a workplace to enhance your teams wellbeing. This program is broken down into four weeks with different objectives and outcomes which meet the three components that encourage employees to use wellbeing programs. This program includes activities that focus on values, gratitude, connection and mindfulness. Uprise’s Workplace Team Wellbeing Program reach a variety of interests in a short period of time with the intention of incorporating long term wellbeing practices into employees routines.
Uprise is a proactive employee assistance program (EAP) provider that improves employee engagement, retention and performance by enhancing psychological wellbeing. Learn more about how our program helps to proactively reduce employee stress.