What if you could more than double the success of your wellness program without much more effort than you’re currently devoting to it? Would you do it? Sure you would.
If you’re like many organizations, though, you’re overlooking a simple strategy for improving your wellness program and the health of your participants because you don’t involve participants’ family members. Evidence suggests that “worksite interventions involving families can be more than twice as effective in promoting healthy eating as interventions targeting just the employee.” Although the study focused on nutrition specifically, it’s likely that the results would hold true for other healthy behaviors, too.
What can you do to pull in families and help everyone to improve their health?
- Invite the entire family to get involved in any health challenges you might offer. Your employees likely need the support of their families to make lifestyle changes stick and the family members themselves likely can benefit from the changes, too, so why not open participation to everyone.
- Hold some of your wellness events when family members can attend. You might consider hosting a health fair or walk on a Saturday morning or some other time when your company isn’t open for business.
- Be sure non-employee family members receive wellness communications. For more on that, check out “Employees’ families are often overlooked in wellness communications: Here’s how to reach this important audience.”
Although you should want to include wellness participants’ families in your efforts, you need to respect boundaries.
- Don’t ask for too much personal information. It’s OK to get a designated family email address to which you can send information, but don’t try to gather birthdates, ages, etc., which some people may be uncomfortable sharing.
- Don’t make family participation mandatory for employees to be able to participate on their own or enjoy certain benefits from participating on their own. You don’t want to penalize employees if their families can’t or don’t want to participate.
For more tips on including families in your wellness program, check out: Are you reaching this key audience with your wellness communications?