How to implement a workplace wellness program that works
Organisations are finally taking note that poor staff wellbeing, low morale, absenteeism, presenteeism and workplace stress are all affecting corporate success. When implementing a workplace strategy there are 2 basic ways of doing this. Enlisting the services of an expert or developing it internally. The way you implement your program is vital to its success, in this article I’ll share ways to get the most from your workplace wellness program.
It all starts at the top
For a workplace wellness program to succeed it must be supported by all members of senior and middle management. This support needs to be role modelled and understood by all leaders. Managers who lead by example will influence the culture and attitude for the rest of the organisation and will inspire their people to make healthier lifestyle choices. Communicate the goals, predicted benefits and results to your organisation.
Who’s driving the Workplace Wellness train?
Depending on the size of your organisation the next step is to establish a wellness advocate or a wellness committee to promote, plan, champion, communicate, facilitate and evaluate your workplace wellness program.
Appoint a Wellness Director
The wellness director’s role is to create the wellness strategy, lead the committee and coordinate the delivery of the program. The success of your wellness program is dependent on the Wellness Directors time and availability if they have another role within your organisation. Appointing a Workplace Wellness Expert is recommended if time constraints, experience and knowledge isn’t available.
Introduce the concept and address the needs
Understanding your people’s needs and designing the program so it’s relevant to your organisation helps in determining the priorities of the program. This information provides a wonderful insight to your workplace and its culture while providing a base line to measure the success of the program,
Create awareness through education
Having an educational component in your wellness strategy increases awareness, generates interest and creates a buzz. This empowers and inspires behaviour change through autonomy and creates a culture of health. Education sessions can include:
- Staff meeting presentations
- Informational posters
- Email campaigns
- Lunch and learn sessions
- Toolbox sessions
- Information in company newsletters
- Events and fundraising
- Health screening and assessment
Support leads to success
Creating support networks within your organisation forms the backbone of your wellness program, it fosters camaraderie, creates social groups and boosts morale. There are many ways to build a support system here’s a few you may like to try:
- Accountability Buddy systems
- Social groups
- Individual and team competitions
- Coaching, appointing a qualified and skilled health and wellness coach to help your people navigate lifestyle and behaviour change
- Allowing time: The first 6 – 12 weeks of change is crucial and where the most support is needed. Periodic support is required for the following 6 – 12 months.
For more information on developing a workplace wellness program:
You can download a copy of my How to implement an effective workplace wellness program ebook here.
I deliver a range of workplace wellness workshops to help your organisation live and lead happier, healthier more productive lives. To find out more click here
If you’d like to know more on ways to implement a workplace wellness strategy, please get in touch for a complimentary workplace wellness discovery session.