There is a big difference between employees thinking, “It’s nice that our company has this wellness program” and employees enthusiastically cheering, “I want to be part of these workplace wellness efforts!”
For a workplace wellness program to be as effective as possible, employees need to feel like they’re on the inside of a fun, entertaining wellness journey. Employees want to believe that they own the wellness program, that it’s “their” program, not the company’s or third-party consultant’s program.
How can you transfer ownership? Communication is key, and it must be personalized with content that includes familiar faces, stories, and news from and about employees.
- Include employees in the wellness content creation process. Increase the chances your wellness or benefits goals will succeed by involving employees in the content decision-making process. If they have a hand in its creation, they may be more likely to pay attention and participate. Form a wellness committee composed of employees from various departments, and ask employees what they want to know about.
- Foster peer-to-peer recognition. Encourage employees to recognize the accomplishment of their peers and provide them with means to do it. Maybe it’s a Kudos board. Employees fill out a card or form to thank, compliment, or recognize their peers. The cards are then displayed on a central bulletin board to foster ongoing success. A culture of appreciation leads to people working together to achieve more and participation soars.
- Give your content personality. Silence the stuffy voice, filled with corporate-speak, and use a chatty, conversational, plain language approach. The tone that you might expect to hear in the break room.
- When recognizing accomplishments, encourage employees to be as specific as possible when complimenting peers.
- Create an easy way for employees to post comments (even anonymous ones are valuable), and ask questions about wellness and benefits. Turn that feedback into future content.