We know that workplace wellness programs are effective at reducing sick leave, improving employee health, boosting morale and increasing productivity in small businesses. However, finding ways to engage your employees in wellness activities and encourage participation can often be challenging.
Here are five tips for building engagement and participation in your business’s wellness activities.
1. Ask Your Employees What They Want
Workplace wellness activities should meet the needs of all employees, regardless of their current level of health. If you ask questions before you start organizing wellness activities, you will make employees feel involved and it will help you identify the right activities for your workplace – which will make your program more likely to be successful.
Provide different ways for employees to be engaged. For each event or activity provide options for people who want to participate. Some prefer to do things on their own while others prefer support or competition from peers.
2. Involve People in the Planning
The success of any wellness program or activity depends on employee involvement, so it is essential to involve employees in the planning process. Very small businesses may not need a wellness committee, but will need someone to lead the activities.
3. Use Incentives
Some low-cost incentives or prizes will help encourage employees to participate and keep them engaged and motivated. Gift certificates, discount coupons, T-shirts, water bottles, plaques, coffee mugs, buttons, pens and pins are examples of extrinsic incentives items that encourage participation.
3. Communicate and Celebrate Successes
Develop a communication plan to share information about the wellness activities. Emails, posters and the company intranet can all be used to promote activities. Encourage employees to take photos and share stories of their participation. Consider planning a staff lunch or afternoon break for participants to celebrate the end of an activity.
5. Walk the Talk
Owners or senior managers who participate in the events or activities encourage others by their example and let employees know that workplace wellness is a priority.