Friday, February 24, 2012

3 Ways to Engage Your Employees in a Wellness Program

The first step in creating a successful wellness program is the support of management. Once you have strong management support for the corporate wellness program, you will have to plan how to engage employees in the program. As you plan your wellness program, it is important to keep in mind that you need a variety of options to offer the workforce.

Below are a few suggestions to encourage employee engagement. You may also come up with an original idea that will speak specifically to your workforce:
Education: By educating your employees, especially the sedentary or non-wellness population, you can draw them into the program. This is a vital part of any successful health and wellness program. The sedentary population of your workforce needs to know and understand the many benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and how to make those changes. This will be the most challenging group to reach, but once you do it will be the most rewarding.

Incentives: Depending upon the culture of your company this can be a fundamental method to engage your employees in a wellness program, especially when the incentive is monetary. But keep in mind that this can also provide a temporary motivation when the goal is to create long term positive behavioral changes.

On-site fitness professional: Whether you have a fitness center within your company or not, you can hire someone to perform fitness assessments, personal training or to teach classes. This shows each employee that you are serious about the wellness programming. Having a fitness professional on-site also gives your employees a resource for health and fitness information, support and motivation.

Once an employee engages in wellness and fitness programming, he or she will feel better about life and work. The employee will exhibit a more positive outlook regarding work product and the work environment. There is a two-way benefit for the employee and the company. A win-win, if you will.
Written by Deborah MacArthur, ISSA, AAAI/ISMA
Director of Marketing & PR for FACTS Fitness

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