Here are 5 tips that will help you make your employee wellness goals a reality:
1. Individualize your wellness initiatives
As we mentioned above you are dealing with people, not statistics, when you implement employee wellness initiatives. Additionally, health and wellness aren't defined by a single number. While weight is often at the forefront of these programs you also have to take into consideration exercise level, genetics, and lifestyle choices when evaluating employee wellness.
You can only accomplish this at the individual level. You may be able to average out the BMI of your employees but you can't average out their family medical history or their propensity towards addiction. In the ideal wellness program each employee would have individual goals and individual assistance in achieving their goals.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
Sweeping initiatives that aim to totally reform the health and wellness of a workplace are admirable in their intent. They aren't, however, a good idea. Trying to force people to overhaul their entire lives all at once is not realistic and is likely to just lead to more stress and harm your wellness initiatives.
Instead, try focusing on one goal at a time. Something simple like a weekly or monthly step goal for employees. Something that only requires them to make a small change in their daily habits. You'll quickly find that these simple, small changes snowball into larger changes.
3. Keep your programs evidence-based
It's important not to structure your wellness initiatives around outdated science or shaky. The foundation of your wellness programs should be non judgemental and evidence-based. As an example we know things like office "biggest loser" style competitions don't actually work all that well. They can encourage unhealthy binge dieting, strain employee relationships, and at the end of it all most people will gain all the weight back anyway.
A better idea would be to incentivize employees who make healthy choices and lose weight slowly and steadily. Something like this may not be as flashy and the results aren't as quick but it's much more effective. The goal here is to encourage the healthy decisions that lead to weight loss, not just the weight loss itself.
4. Create a healthy environment for your employees
Healthy choices and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand. You can't expect your employees to make healthy choices every day if you bombard them with unhealthy snack options and vending machines stacked full of sugary soda. Even small, barely noticeable changes to the environment can help. Things like using smaller plates for in-office lunches to encourage employees to eat smaller portion sizes. Small environmental changes are simple, effective, and best of all no one feels judged.
Summerlin-Roberts we know how important it is to create a healthy workplace and we want to help you make that a reality. Please contact us today for more information on encouraging healthy behaviors with your employee wellness program.